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Great Jacques-Cartier Bog (Photo by La Halte Studio)

Great Jacques-Cartier Bog (Photo by La Halte Studio)

Nature Conservancy of Canada triples conserved area of one of last large peat bogs still in its natural state in Capitale-Nationale region

October 5, 2023
Sainte-Catherine-De-La-Jacques-Cartier, QC

 

An ecological gem is safeguarded for future generations

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) today announced the acquisition of nearly 200 hectares within the Great Jacques-Cartier Bog, one of the last great natural peatlands in the Capitale-Nationale region. This newly protected site, located 40 kilometres northwest of Quebec City, is twice the size of the Plains of Abraham and adds to over 100 hectares that NCC has already helped conserve in this area. In total, nearly 60 per cent of the peatland is now safeguarded.

This bog plays a crucial role in slowing the pace of and adapting to climate change by acting as a significant carbon sink and oasis of freshness during heat waves. It also absorbs a substantial amount of water during heavy precipitation, reducing flooding risks for neighbouring communities. The peatland also contributes to water quality in the area, as it filters the water that flows into the Jacques-Cartier River to the south and the Rivière aux Pins to the north.

Numerous plants and animals, including some that are at risk, find refuge in this area. Among them is southern twayblade, a plant designated as threatened under the Quebec Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species (ARTVS), bank swallow, designated as threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, as well as smooth green snake and hoary bat, both of which are likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable in Quebec. Black bear, moose, white-tailed deer and other wide-ranging animals also benefit from the peatland’s vast expanses and the other important natural areas in the region, like Jacques-Cartier National Park, Duchesnay Forest and Marais du Nord.

The peatland also serves as a nature haven for hikers and cyclists on the Vélopiste Jacques-Cartier/Portneuf. It offers a peaceful sanctuary that benefits everyone, allowing visitors to discover its stunning landscapes and enjoy the benefits of time spent in nature. Learn more about how to access the trail here.

Acknowledgements

This major conservation success was made possible thanks to several financial partners:

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada for its financial contribution through the Canada Nature Fund. A total of $5,344,952 was awarded to Nature-Action Québec and its partners over a two-year period.
  • Intact Financial Corporation, through an $8-million, five-year partnership with NCC to help protect and restore wetlands.
  • The Gouvernement du Québec, through a grant of more than $53 million over four years allocated to NCC for its Partenariat pour les milieux naturels project.
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act.

Facts

  • The land acquired by NCC spans the municipalities of Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier and Fossambault-sur-le-Lac. It comprises a broad complex of wetlands and a small, forested area.
  • Covering an area of 660 hectares (6.6 square kilometres), the Great Jacques-Cartier Bog extends across three municipalities: Fossambault-sur-le-Lac (30 per cent), Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier (49 per cent) and Shannon (21 per cent).
  • Ombrotrophic peatlands cover a substantial portion of the property acquired by NCC. Formed over many years, these peatlands are very rare in southern Quebec, where they are subject to significant development pressures.
  • The land acquired by NCC is home to several rare plants, including rose pogonia, a species of orchid. Wood turtle, designated as vulnerable under the ARTVS and threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act, are also present in the habitats connected to this peatland.
  • The peatland is situated in a vital connectivity zone identified by the partners of the Quebec Ecological Corridors Initiative (QECI). The initiative was launched by NCC and is led by 10 organizations and their many partners.

Quotes

“This conservation success came about through sustained collaboration among several partners who identified it as a priority conservation site. The scarcity of this type of peatland in southern Quebec, along with the threats it faces and its relatively intact habitats are among the reasons for this identification. This achievement is a milestone for nature conservation in the region, and given the urgency to act, we hope it will contribute to more similar projects in the vicinity." Claire Ducharme, vice president, Nature Conservancy of Canada in Quebec

“Climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution are affecting the lives of Canadians more than ever. Collaboration is vital if we want to halt this triple crisis, and that’s why we support projects like the ones at the Nature Conservancy of Canada, all across the country. In addition to protecting the habitat of numerous species, the protection of this peatland in perpetuity is an invaluable legacy for the population of the greater Quebec region.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The challenges posed by climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution are being felt particularly acutely across the country. The preservation of this peatland is therefore very good news for the Québec City region. We are creating a precious legacy for future generations, while protecting the vital habitat of many species that are an integral part of our identity.”  – The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Member of Parliament for Québec and Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“As Canada’s largest property and casualty insurer, we’ve been on the front lines of climate change with our customers for more than a decade to help them adapt to climate change and build resilient communities. Heavy rain events are now 50% more likely than they were in the 2000s, and this kind of challenge requires contributions from all stakeholders to find short and long-term solutions. Natural assets are precious allies to the transition to a sustainable future. Therefore, the work done by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to preserve and restore large wetland areas is critical and that’s why Intact committed to support its mission for many years.” – Frédéric Cotnoir, executive vice president & chief legal officer, Intact Financial Corporation

“The acquisition of the Grande tourbière de la Jacques-Cartier for conservation purposes is excellent news for the Capitale-Nationale Region and for all of Québec. Peatlands are natural environments that provide us with many ecological services. This is especially true when they are preserved in their natural state, as is the case here. Our government is very pleased to offer financial support for this initiative. It is through conservation projects like this that we are going to increase the protection of natural environments that stand out for their richness within our network of protected areas. I want to thank all the partners committed to the preservation of our natural environments.”  – Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region

“The Capitale-Nationale region abounds in natural environments and the acquisition of the Grande tourbière de la Jacques-Cartier for conservation purposes will protect this valuable site’s environment and ecosystems. This marks a significant step forward to combat and adapt to climate change in the region.” -Jonatan Julien, Minister Responsible for Infrastructure and Minister Responsible for the Capitale-Nationale Region

“This project is good news indeed for the residents of Fossambault-sur-le-Lac, Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, and Shannon who value respect for the environment and nature in their region. I would like to thank all the stakeholders involved in this concerted effort to preserve the Grande tourbière de la Jacques-Cartier. It was necessary to act now to ensure its sound, safe future.” – Éric Caire, Minister of Cybersecurity and Digital Technology, Deputy Government House Leader, and MNA for La Peltrie


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, including nearly 50,000 hectares in Quebec. NCC is a registered charity. With nature, we build a thriving world.

The Canada Nature Fund supports the protection of Canada’s biodiversity through the creation of protected and conserved areas and through initiatives that help to recover species at risk. The Fund is available to not-for-profit and Indigenous organizations, provinces and territories, and others.

For thirty-five years, the non-profit Nature-Action Québec has had the mission to guide individuals and organizations in applying better environmental practices. The organization works with municipalities, businesses, community organizations and citizens to carry out concrete projects that contribute to improving Quebecers’ environment, health, well-being and quality of life.

Intact Financial Corporation is the largest provider of property and casualty (P&C) insurance in Canada, a leading provider of global specialty insurance, and, with RSA, a leader in the U.K. and Ireland. Our business has grown organically and through acquisitions to over $21 billion of total annual premiums. In Canada, Intact distributes insurance under the Intact Insurance brand through a wide network of brokers, including its wholly-owned subsidiary BrokerLink, and directly to consumers through belairdirect. Intact also provides affinity insurance solutions through the Johnson Affinity Groups. In the US, Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions provides a range of specialty insurance products and services through independent agencies, regional and national brokers, and wholesalers and managing general agencies. In the U.K., Ireland, and Europe, Intact provides personal, commercial and specialty insurance solutions through the RSA brands.

The Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN) is a four-year grant of more than $53 million from the Gouvernement du Québec to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. It provides support for voluntary conservation initiatives to ensure the protection of natural areas of interest by establishing financial partnerships with conservation organizations in the province. The PPMN thus aims to develop and consolidate Québec's network of protected areas located on private land.

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

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) launched the Quebec Ecological Corridors Initiative (QECI) in 2017 to accelerate the conservation of natural areas connected by ecological corridors. The initiative is coordinated by NCC and led by a group of 10 organizations. The group offers a collective approach to land use planning and advises provincial and municipal governments, woodlot owners, farmers and other key stakeholders. The group also carries out mobilization, capacity building, recognition and support activities throughout southern Quebec.

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Media Contact:

Anne Guay
Communications and Marketing Officer
Nature Conservancy of Canada
1 877-876-5444 x6223

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Funding provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada