Green Mountains summits, QC (Photo by Claude Duchaîne)

Green Mountains summits, QC (Photo by Claude Duchaîne)

Quebec - Green Mountains Nature Reserve

Mount Burnt property, Northern Green Mountains, QC (Photo by Appalachian Corridor)

Mount Burnt property, Northern Green Mountains, QC (Photo by Appalachian Corridor)

Nathalie Zinger enjoys hiking in Quebec’s eastern townships. “It’s wonderful to know that all of the mountain peaks you can see there are protected now, thanks to us and the work of our partners,” says NCC’s Quebec regional vice-president.

The mountains are part of NCC’s Green Mountains Nature Reserve. Located only an hour’s drive from Montreal, the reserve is not only one of the last unfragmented wilderness areas in southern Quebec; it also represents a key linkage in the Appalachian range, which stretches from Georgia to Newfoundland.

At 16,766 acres (6,785 hectares), it was a project 10 years in the making. In 2001, NCC made an initial purchase of 1,140 acres (460 hectares) in the Sutton Mountain Range, funded by partners that included the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement.

Three years later, following a major outreach campaign, NCC also acquired lands formerly owned by Domtar through a gift of land, the financial contributions of the Government of Quebec and numerous foundations and donors.

Since Zinger joined NCC in 2007, the project has more than doubled in size. “Although it had its challenges, I’ve always been convinced that this was truly important for Quebec, NCC and the region,” she adds.

Zinger has appreciated seeing theory come into practice; to see a wildlife corridor actually be protected for the benefit of the animals that roam there. She’s also inspired by the numerous individuals, landowners, partners and government agencies who made the project possible.

“Together, we’ve accomplished the first step,” says Zinger. The next stage is to work with partners to manage the reserve for the future.

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