Glen Sutton - Connecting the dots along a vast ecological corridor
Rivière Missisquoi, QC (Photo by La Halte Studio)
From a bald eagle’s overhead perspective, the Sutton Mountains appear like an endless rolling carpet of green that stretches beyond the horizon. To the eastern wood-pewee perched among the deciduous woodland here, its next insect meal is within reach. Stay for a while and you might notice that the forest is alive with activity; maybe you’ll spot a deer across one of many mountain streams.
Eastern wood-pewee (Photo by Carl Savignac)
Part of the Appalachian chain, the Sutton Mountains help connect a lush emerald ecological corridor that stretches from Mount Orford in Quebec, south to Mount Mansfield in Vermont. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has been protecting a vast stretch of habitat here since 2001, with projects in and around the Sutton Mountains added to the Green Mountains Nature Reserve over the years.
NCC teamed up with Au Diable Vert to expand the Green Mountains Nature Reserve, one of Quebec’s largest protected areas on private land, and with Les Sentiers de l’Estrie to make its newly protected land accessible.
A conservation effort with far-reaching impact
Salamander in the Green Mountains Nature Reserve (Photo by La Halte Studio)
As of September 2022, three additional areas totalling nearly 200 hectares have been conserved in Glen Sutton thanks to the Anderson family, Ewa Dorynek Scheer and Bill Triolet, who chose to hand over their land to NCC and Au Diable Vert. These lands expand the protected areas in the southern flank of the Sutton Mountains and connect existing projects that are important for wide-ranging mammals like black bear, bobcat and moose. Creating a corridor of protected areas allows these animals space to reproduce, raise their young and move in search of food.
Watch this video of Ewa who speaks about her motivations for donating land to NCC, as well as representatives from NCC, Au Diable Vert and Les Sentiers de l’Estrie who led the project together:
This expansion protects not only the terrestrial habitats here, but the night sky can also benefit from less light pollution! The portion of the project under Au Diable Vert’s care was recently certified as a Canadian Dark Sky Preserve. (Learn more about dark skies). Dark skies are important for bird migration, as many species migrate at night and use celestial cues to travel between breeding and wintering grounds. Light pollution can have an effect on natural processes like sleep, feeding, migration and reproduction.
A rustic trail through one of the new projects in the Sutton Mountains, QC (Photo by La Halte Studio)
Protecting nature by forming personal connections to the land
There’s no better way to experience the majestic forest of the Sutton Mountains than to spend time in it. Hikers of all ages and abilities can enjoy the extensive trail system, which is managed by Au Diable Vert and Les Sentiers de l’Estrie. Future plans include upgrading the existing trails and creating new ones.
See the trails for yourself on your next hike! Look for the "sentier des trois frères" trail, located in Glen Sutton.
Visit the Green Mountains Nature Reserve page for more information.
Coming together to create a thriving world
Partnerships are often at the centre of successful conservation projects. NCC works with local groups, municipalities, governments, property owners and companies to make conservation possible. Thank you to the partners who made this project possible:
The Anderson family, Ewa Dorynek Scheer and Bill Triolet
A portion of this project was donated to NCC under the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program, which provides enhanced tax incentives for individuals or corporations who donate ecologically significant land.
Future plans for the area include continuing to expand the Green Mountains Nature Reserve, considered one of the few regions in southern Quebec where large tracts of undeveloped land remain relatively intact.