The Gouvernement du Québec approved the designation of the Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée du Canyon-Eaton, following the submission in the fall of 2020 of a joint brief from the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. The legally protected status contemplated for this territory is that of a “biodiversity reserve,” which is governed by the Natural Heritage Conservation Act.
The Réserve de territoire aux fins d’aire protégée du Canyon-Eaton protects a portion of the Caniapiscau River, of significant interest from the standpoint of conservation, especially for the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach. It continues to be an important subsistence sector for the Naskapi. Moreover, several archaeological sites have been listed within this territory. It encompasses old-growth forests and hills that display abundant plant diversity. Its protection would contribute to the representativeness of these natural features that are rare in the network of protected areas in Nunavik. This territory intersects with the operating territory of few outfitters, which suggests a certain tourism potential. The Canyon Eaton, the Caniapiscau River gorge, and the falls of the Goodwood River are spectacular geomorphological features of the northern Québec landscape.
No natural resource exploration or exploitation activity (mining, energy and forests) is allowed in the territory of the territorial reserve for protected area purposes. The Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks will ensure the maintenance of the administrative and legal provisions that their prohibition requires.