The community and the Nature Conservancy of Canada join forces to protect the gateway to the Green Mountains Nature Reserve in Sutton
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) acknowledges the major donors and local community who have contributed to protecting more than three square kilometres in the Green Mountains - Sutton area.
The community deserves heartfelt thanks! It has demonstrated its attachment to this remarkable site by collaborating on this large-scale project, making the Sutton area a major point of access for hikers in the Green Mountains Nature Reserve.
This newly acquired property, adjacent to the Mont Sutton ski resort, will extend the reserve, which currently covers 70 square kilometres.
A funding campaign involving the community
Through their joint fundraising campaign, launched last January by NCC and its partners Appalachian Corridor, Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton and Les Sentiers de l’Estrie, a substantial amount was successfully raised to secure this vast property.
“This large-scale project represents a collaboration among groups and individuals from different backgrounds on both sides of the border, all of whom are united for the same cause. We are proud to be able to contribute to safeguarding this jewel of biodiversity,” said Joël Bonin, director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec.
“The Government of Canada is proud to support the environmental efforts of Canadians and their communities through the Natural Areas Conservation Program. This investment will help to protect the diverse habitat and species, especially those at risk, in the Montagnes Vertes and give them a chance to thrive,” said the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
“I want to thank the many donors who helped make this expanded nature reserve a reality. Together with the support of the Government of Canada, we are working to conserve the natural beauty of the Sutton area for generations to come,” said the Honourable Denis Paradis, MP for Brome-Missisquoi.
A sizeable donation
Michel Saucier and Gisèle Beaulieu, a couple who ski at Mount Sutton and are nature enthusiasts, have followed NCC through the various stages of this project over the last eight years. They have contributed a significant amount to the securement — more than half-a-million dollars.
“Our passion for the mountains, for skiing and for nature led us to become involved in this critical undertaking with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, which will now have an invaluable impact,” said Michel Saucier of the Beaulieu-Saucier Foundation.
“Sweet Water Trust, a foundation based in Boston, was originally introduced to the Canadian Green Mountains by Terri Monahan 12 years ago, and today we dedicate our most recent donation to her memory. Our mission of protecting land in its natural, wild state is exemplified by the Green Mountains project; a land protection project that would not have come so far without Terri’s unwavering commitment and passion. We and many others have been inspired by her example and take comfort in knowing that future generations will benefit from her work,” said Eve Endicott, executive director of Sweet Water Trust.
Become part of this important legacy project
Interested members of the public are invited to learn more about this project and to contribute online at natureconservancy.ca/sutton-donate or by calling NCC at 1-877-876-5444, extension 294.
Additional funds will help complete the financial plan and enhance this great forest property by maintaining and improving the current network of trails.
A unique natural environment combining biodiversity and accessibility
The property is accessible to the public, thanks to walking trails that are maintained by PENS. Protecting this area in perpetuity will ensure the preservation of spectacular views, such as those on the Dos d’Orignal loop. Permanent markers also will be set up on the site to acknowledge all of the donors.
This newly secured property is located in the heart of the largest tract of unfragmented forest in the Green Mountains range.
Covering the Dos d’Orignal and the northwest side of Mount Gagnon, it contains 18 clear streams, which are favourable habitat for at-risk spring salamander.
Two other species on the at-risk list (under the (federal) Species at Risk Act) nest on the territory: Bicknell’s thrush, in the dense high-altitude fir stands, and Canada warbler, found in mixed forest with heavy brush.
This vast property also increases the connectivity of the Green Mountains Nature Reserve, which is one of the last unfragmented natural areas in the south of Quebec.
The landscape's great expanse allows for the movement and survival of large-ranging mammals, such as moose, bobcat and fisher.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada wishes to thank the following partners, without whom these 740 acres (300 hectares) could not have been protected: the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program, the Beaulieu-Saucier Foundation, the Sweet Water Trust, the Open Space Institute, Appalachian Corridor (which obtained funds from the United States Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act), the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement, the Echo Foundation, as well as several other partners and community members (the complete list can be found at conservationdelanature.ca/suttonprotection).
Appalachian Corridor, Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton and Les Sentiers de l’Estrie have worked jointly with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to carry out this project and raise funds. They will continue to join forces to enhance the habitat.
Profound thanks are also due to the Fondation de la faune du Québec, a long-standing partner and key conservation partner supporting wildlife initiatives across Quebec.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada, which owns the Green Mountains Nature Reserve (70 square kilometres), is Quebec and Canada’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 has helped to protect more than 2.8 million acres (1.1 million hectares) across the country, including 96,800 acres (39,200 hectares) in Quebec. It is by protecting and managing these natural environments that they can be made accessible to our current generation and those to come.
The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique public-private partnership led by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. To date, $345 million have been invested in the NACP by the Government of Canada to secure our natural heritage. Additionally, more than $500 million in matching contributions have been raised by NCC and its partners.
- 30 -