Promoting the Protection and Discovery of the Laurentians
Groups launch Master Plan for Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) together with its partners have released a Master Plan for the Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve (RNAK).
Spanning nearly five square kilometres, the Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve is a unique space that represents the heart of the Laurentian Landscape.
The plan, developed from 2014 to 2016, strikes a balance between public accessibility and land protection. It was developed in collaboration with nearly thirty organizations and groups. They have partnered around common objectives, including conservation, research, discovery and regional development.
“Our intention was to gather the local, municipal and regional partners and come up with a common vision, look at the reserve’s strengths and needs, and together arrive at a five-year action plan that we can collectively work toward,” said Annie Ferland, project manager with the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec.
The nature reserve’s four main focuses are conservation, research, discovery and awareness-raising, as well as regional outreach.
The Alfred-Kelly Master Plan, in keeping with the nature reserve designation agreement signed with the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, and Action against Climate Change, reaffirms that conservation efforts are the highest priority.
Going forward, the groups have come up with a list of 10 strategic objectives and 43 concrete actions including trail work and conservation of habitats and species, educational programs and tools, and research projects, all while involving the local and regional communities.
These actions will be implemented between 2016 and 2021 by eight partners; the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the municipality of Piedmont, the town of Prévost, Bird Protection Quebec, the Comité régional pour la protection des falaises, les Amis de la réserve naturelle Alfred-Kelly, Éco-corridors Laurentiens and the Corporation du parc linéaire Le P’tit Train du Nord.
This participatory management structure will be the key to this ambitious master plan's success.
To view the master plan, visit: www.conservationdelanature.ca/rnak
A delicate balance between discovery and protection
The development process and the content of the master plan reflect the desire of NCC and its partners to showcase the reserve’s potential, particularly in terms of recreational activities.
The significant number of hikers who visit the lands year-round gives two challenges. The site must provide enjoyable, safe and sustainable conditions for visitors, yet the level of public visitation must be adapted to the fragile ecosystems.
To ensure a long-term balance between protection and accessibility, a network of official trails had been established, along with rules on acceptable uses within the reserve.
NCC and its partners will need the support of all visitors to help care for and respect this shared treasure.
Visit the official map to find out how to access the official trails.
What is a Nature Reserve?
Governed by the Natural Heritage Conservation Act, a nature reserve is a private property with certain flora or fauna, or ecological or geological features that require protection.
Why a nature reserve?
The Alfred-Kelly Nature Reserve is an exceptional landscape recognized for its diverse ecosystems, its plants and its wildlife.
In particular, it shelters species with special conservation status such as the peregrine falcon, the butternut tree and the pickerel frog. The famous escarpments overhanging Paradise Lake provide a special habitat to many plant species rare in the region.
This landmark of the Laurentians, owned by NCC, is protected in perpetuity with the support of local residents, organizations and municipalities.
The Master Plan was developed by NCC and its partners to ensure the reserve is managed in a wise and consistent manner.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is grateful for the support of local stakeholders throughout this process, who made it possible to develop this Master Plan. The organization would like to give special recognition to members of the Natural Reserve’s Management Committee, including the municipality of Piedmont, the Town of Prévost, Bird Protection Quebec, the Comité régional pour la protection des falaises, and the Amis de la réserve naturelle Alfred-Kelly.
NCC also wishes to thank Éco-Corridors Laurentiens and the Corporation du parc linéaire Le P’tit Train du Nord for joining the efforts in the implementation of the plan, as well as the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’Environnement, the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program, Earth Rangers, and Mountain Equipment Coop for providing funding to help develop this Master Plan. NCC would also like to thank all organizations and groups who have collaborated in the consultation process.
About the Nature Conservancy of Canada
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.8 million acres (1.1 million hectares) coast to coast, including 93,900 acres (38,600 hectares) in Quebec. http://www.natureconservancy.ca
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