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Saint-Sylvère bog, QC (Photo by NCC)

Saint-Sylvère bog, QC (Photo by NCC)

Nature Conservancy of Canada receives generous land donation from Cascades

March 26, 2024
Saint-Sylvère, QC

 

Critical bog and forest habitat to be protected to help many wildlife

An important section of the Saint-Sylvère bog alongside a forest that is a special place for a lot of wildlife, is now being conserved through a generous gift of land. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to receive an ecological donation of over 116 hectares from Cascades in the community of Saint-Sylvère in the Centre-du-Québec region.

The protected land is located on the traditional territory of the W8banaki Nation, known as Ndakina. We recognize the role and responsibility of the W8banaki Nation in the governance, management and conservation of this site, also known as the "Moz8depek" Bog, Moosehead Bog.

The announcement was made today at a media conference in Kingsey Falls hosted by Cascades as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations. NCC is heartened and grateful for the contribution of this natural habitat in the Tourbière de Saint-Sylvère priority sector. Located in a highly agricultural environment, as is the case for a large proportion of the Centre-du-Québec region, the Saint-Sylvère peat bog plays a major water filtration and regulation role in the community.  

Ninety percent of this new conservation area are wetlands, an important contributor to carbon storing and water purification. Citizen birdwatchers have already identified 68 species of birds in the area that includes the property. Among these, four endangered species have been observed: the Canada warbler, Eastern-wood pewee, bank swallow and barn swallow. Others viewed include the meadowlark, the eastern bluebird, black duck and blue-winged teal. The forest surrounding the property provides habitat for many species, including moose, white-tailed deer, ruffed grouse, snowshoe hare, wild turkey and green frog.

This conservation project was made possible by Cascades. Contributions were also made by the gouvernement du Québec through the Accélérer la conservation de le sud du Québec (ACSQ) project, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through its North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) and by the Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund.

The project was also supported by the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program, which provides significant tax benefits for individuals or corporations who donate ecologically sensitive land.

In the face of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change, nature is our ally. There is no solution to either without nature conservation. When nature thrives, we all thrive.

Quotes

"The wetlands of Centre-du-Québec are extremely rich both in terms of the biodiversity they shelter and the ecological services they provide to the population, notably through their capacity to store carbon and purify water. Furthermore, simply by looking at a map identifying the wetlands of this region, it's clear how they form an important corridor for the survival and movement of wildlife in this part of the province. In the context of climate change, it is more important than ever to protect these environments. We thank Cascades for this very generous land donation and all the partners who supported the project." – Claire Ducharme, regional vice-president, Quebec, Nature Conservancy of Canada

"Cascades is pleased to celebrate its 60th anniversary by announcing a donation to Nature Conservancy Canada of a piece of land covering 116 hectares with high ecological value. This peat bog, acquired by the Lemaire family in the early 60s, is located in St-Sylvère, in the Centre-du-Québec region. The land is bequeathed to ensure its permanence and to preserve the survival of the species and ecosystems that live there, for future generations. This donation reflects the strong values of respect for the environment and the communities that were passed on to us by the Lemaire family and that continue to be perpetuated by our employees." - Mario Plourde, President and CEO of Cascades

 "I would like to commend the announcement of the protection of a significant part of the Saint-Sylvère bog and thank Cascade for its ecological donation, as well as the conservation organizations and partners who made this announcement possible. The protection and restoration of our natural environments contribute to the enhancement of protected areas, especially on private lands, in order to achieve our conservation goals of 30% of our territory by 2030." – Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, and Minister responsible for the Laurentides region

“By collaborating with partners like the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we are working to protect wetlands in Quebec and helping protect habitats for migratory birds and species at risk, like the Eastern Wood-Pewee and the Canada Warbler, while continuing to help store carbon and improve water filtration and regulation. Through the generosity of landowners, corporate donors like Cascades Canada ULC, and programs like the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Government of Canada is making progress toward its goal of conserving 30 percent of land and water in Canada by 2030.”– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Facts

  • NCC will do a baseline inventory of the property this summer to help identify species and characterize their habitats. A plan identifying monitoring, access, community involvement and management actions will then be developed.
  • The Saint-Sylvère bog is part of a major wetland corridor running parallel to the St. Lawrence River through Centre-du-Québec. 
  • The Canada Warbler may be designated as vulnerable or threatened in Quebec and listed as threatened in Canada, while the Eastern Wood-Pewee is a species of special concern in Canada.
  • A colony of Virginia chain fern, which may be designated as threatened or vulnerable in Quebec, was inventoried in the bog in 2014.
  • This property is strategically located to other key natural spaces. It is 16 kilometres from the réserve naturelle du Patrimoine-des-Hébert", 13 kilometres from the Saint-Rosaire peat bog and 20 kilometres from the Léon-Provancher Ecological Reserve which is home to the lac aux Outardes heronry and the lac Saint-Paul-Rivière Godefroy waterfowl concentration area.

About

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature. NCC seeks solutions to the twin crises of rapid biodiversity loss and climate change through large scale, permanent land conservation. As a trusted partner, NCC works with people, communities, businesses and government to protect and care for our country’s most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has brought Canadians together to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. In Quebec, NCC partners regularly with Conservation de la nature Québec (CNQ), a non-profit organization that is distinct from NCC, to conserve Quebec’s richest natural areas. Together, the two organizations have conserved close to 50,000 hectares of natural areas in the province. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca

Founded in 1964, Cascades offers sustainable, innovative and value-added packaging, hygiene and recovery solutions. The Company employs 10,000 talents across a network of close to 70 facilities in North America. Driven by its participative management, half a century of experience in recycling, and continuous research and development efforts, Cascades continues to provide innovative products that customers have come to rely on, while contributing to the well-being of people, communities and the entire planet. Cascades shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CAS.

The Accelerating Conservation in Southern Quebec (ACSQ) project is a co-funding agreement between the gouvernement du Québec and Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC), with Quebec conservation organizations. It aims at protecting and conserving natural habitats of ecological interest, notably through the acquisition of private land for protected areas and the establishment of ecological corridors. This way, the ACSQ will promote the development and sound management of the network of protected areas on private land, as well as public access to nature. The sum of $144 million invested in the ACSQ by the gouvernement du Québec over five years must be matched by NCC and its partners with other funds not provided by the Quebec government.

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) is a program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique partnership that supports the creation and recognition of protected and conserved areas through the acquisition of private land and private interest in land. To date, the Government of Canada has invested more than $470 million in the Program, which has been matched with more than $982 million in contributions raised by Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community leading to the protection and conservation of nearly 800,000 hectares of ecologically sensitive lands.Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program provides a way for Canadians with ecologically sensitive land to protect nature and leave a legacy for future generations. Made possible by the terms of the Income Tax Act of Canada and the Quebec Taxation Act, it offers significant tax benefits to landowners who donate land or a partial interest in land to a qualified recipient. Recipients ensure that the land’s biodiversity and environmental heritage are conserved in perpetuity.

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Ania Wurster
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