Kenauk (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Kenauk (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

The Nature Conservancy of Canada announces the protection of 6,000 hectares on the historic Kenauk property (the Seigneurie Papineau) between Montreal and Ottawa

June 5, 2017


On the occasion of World Environment Day, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and its partners announced the protection of 6,000 hectares (15,000 acres), representing a three-kilometre-wide and 20-kilometre-long corridor, on the Kenauk property. It consists of large wetland and forest areas, providing habitat for many plants and animals, including the eastern grey wolf, a species of special concern under Canada's Species at Risk Act, and American black bear. This site of unique ecological and historical wealth once belonged to the famous Louis-Joseph Papineau and is located in the municipality of Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, near Montebello.

This project is a great example of partnership between various public and private funding partners coming together for conservation and for the well-being of communities. The Governments of Canada and the United States (the latter through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act) all contributed, as well as a host of private donors, namely companies, foundations and individuals.

The protection of these exceptional lands, home to more than 170 species, helps secure a forest corridor of major significance. Its southern section contains the largest known population of black maple trees in the province.

An extraordinary conservation opportunity

The Kenauk territory consists mainly of forests. It contains several species that are rare in Quebec, as well as beautiful black maple forests, an at-risk species under Quebec’s Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species (ARTVS). The calcareous soil helps sustain a distinctive flora, including several species designated under the ARTVS.

A land rich in history

Granted as a seigniorial domain in 1674 by Louis XIV, King of France, to Monseigneur Laval, the first bishop of Quebec, the Kenauk property is deeply rooted in Canadian history. In fact, from 1801, and for the century that followed, it was owned by the Papineau family, and notably by Louis-Joseph, one of Quebec’s great 19th century political figures.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada wishes to thank the following donors, who made it possible to protect these 6,000 hectares: the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program, American Friends of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the TD Bank Group through its TD Forests program, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Echo Foundation and 50 individual donors.


“Today, as Canada hosts World Environment Day, our Government is proud to support the efforts of private and public donors,  including our provincial government partner, to protect historical and national treasures such as this ecologically important wildlife habitat in the Kenauk region, so that generations to come can still enjoy them.” Stéphane Lauzon, MP for Argenteuil―La Petite-Nation.

“The Government of Quebec welcomes all initiatives that contribute to developing a public network of protected areas. For that reason, it congratulates the Nature Conservancy of Canada on the steps it has taken with respect to the Kenauk–Mont-Tremblant corridor. In addition to contributing to maintaining biological diversity, this vast territory provides a variety of environmental benefits and strengthens the resilience of ecosystems in the face of climate change. It represents a long-term ‘natural insurance’ investment on the part of our society, especially as development and land-use pressures intensify, in Quebec as elsewhere,” states Alexandre Iracà, MNA for Papineau, speaking in Montebello.

“Forests form the backdrop of our communities, where we live, work and play — and they perform an essential role in cleaning the air and moderating temperatures. As our world becomes more urbanized it is essential to protect forests and the valuable habitats they represent. That’s why we made protecting critical forest habitat a key pillar of the TD Forests program." says Karen Clarke-Whistler, chief environment officer, TD Bank Group.

“The deep Kenauk forests provide an ideal habitat for the large predators that have been reported on this property, such as the eastern gray wolf, a species of special concern according to Canada’s Species at Risk Act. The presence of this species is an important indicator of the global health of the ecosystem. American black bears are also present, including several rare cinnamon-coloured bears,” states Catherine Collette-Hachey, project coordinator at the Nature Conservancy of Canada.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC has helped to protect more than 1.1 million hectares (2.8 million acres), coast to coast, including 40,000 hectares (98,840 acres) in Quebec. It is by securing and protecting these natural environments that they can be made accessible to this generation and those to come. To learn more, visit

The Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) is a unique public-private to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern Canada. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) manages the program. To date, $277.5 million has been invested in the NACP by the Government of Canada, with more than $500 million in matching contributions raised by NCC and its partners. Habitat conserved under the NACP enhance natural corridors to other protected areas.

Launched in 2012, TD Forests is a major conservation initiative built around two pillars — reduce (paper use) and grow (forested areas). The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been engaged in the “grow” pillar to increase the amount of forested lands protected and cared for in Canada and through its conservation partners in the U.S. TD and NCC are also engaging more Canadians in the mission to conserve our forests, which will safeguard not just the trees, but all the living things that rely on forested habitats. For more information, visit TD Forests.

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Media Contact:

Elizabeth Sbaglia
Communications Manager, Quebec Region
Nature Conservancy of Canada
514-876-1606 x6240

Andrew Holland
National Media Relations Director
Office: 1-877-231-4400 | Mobile: 506-260-0469

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