Protected lands in Ham-Sud and Ham-Nord in the Estrie region, QC

Protected lands in Ham-Sud and Ham-Nord in the Estrie region, QC

The Nature Conservancy of Canada protects 516 hectares in a vast natural corridor in the Estrie region

January 16, 2024
Ham-Sud, QC


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) announces the protection of 516 hectares comprised of vast forest habitats and several wetlands in Ham-Sud and Ham-Nord in Quebec’s Estrie region. Located 48 kilometres northeast of Sherbrooke, the protected land is located on the traditional territory of the W8banaki Nation, known as Ndakina. NCC acknowledges and thanks these original caretakers and recognizes the ongoing work and presence of Indigenous communities in Canada.

Conserving this land is essential to the survival of Van Brunt’s Jacob’s-ladder, a plant designated as threatened under Canada's Species at Risk Act and Quebec's Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species. This small, rare plant faces a number of threats, including habitat loss. Its situation is made all the more fragile due to its restricted range; it can only be found in a few locations in northeastern North America. This newly protected land is home to one of only eight known populations of Van Brunt’s Jacob’s-ladder in the province.

The 516 hectares protected here are part of a vast natural corridor that supports the survival and resilience of the region's animals and plants, enabling them to move, disperse, reproduce and feed. At a time when climate change is leading to changes in ecosystems, conserving these corridors is vital, as species must migrate north to survive. What's more, connecting natural areas encourages greater genetic diversity within species because it allows populations to mix.

This vast natural corridor includes Mont-Ham Regional Park, which is adjacent to NCC-protected area , with its 18-kilometre network of trails for outdoor enthusiasts to take in the park’s breathtaking scenery.

The wetlands and forests here help purify water and air, and are important carbon sinks. Part of this site has been integrated into the Projet forestier Pivot, a project for the valuation and trading of high-quality credits due to carbon stored in forests. This partnership developed between NCC and ECOTIERRA embodies an innovative approach combining the preservation of biodiversity and the fight against climate change. This collaboration reflects the importance of cooperation between environmental organizations and companies committed to reducing their environmental footprint.


NCC thanks its financial partners in the acquisition of this land: the Government of Canada, through the Canada Nature Fund, and the Gouvernement du Québec, through financial aid of over $53 million over four years granted to NCC for its Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels. NCC also thanks Ecotierra for its partnership in the Projet forestier Pivot, as well as the Mont-Ham Regional Park and the MRC des Sources for their collaboration in protecting this land and the Quebec Ecological Corridors Initiative.


“This natural area environment is rich in biodiversity. Conserving this land helps protect the species that live there ensure the sustainability of the ecological services it provides. We’re delighted to be working with partners from all walks of life to protect this exceptional environment for future generations.” – Sabrina Doyon, Project Manager, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“The protection of an additional piece of a vast natural corridor in the Estrie region of Quebec is made possible through an investment from the Canada Nature Fund and by working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Preserving these lands plays a vital role in addressing and reversing the loss of biodiversity while helping to sequester more carbon in the fight against climate change. Safeguarding habitat contributes to the survival and recovery of species at risk, including the threatened Van Brunt’s Jacob’s-ladder. These investments are part of our national conservation campaign to protect 30 per cent of land and water in Canada by 2030.” – The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

"Thanks to initiatives like those in Ham-Sud and Ham-Nord, among others, we can provide local communities with protected areas and emphasize the importance of preserving the invaluable natural environments found within these territories. I want to thank all the partners who are mobilizing for our natural environments because it is by working together that we can preserve our rich natural heritage." – Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, and Minister responsible for the Laurentides Region

“The MRC des Sources is proud to be associated with this nature preservation project within its Regional Park.  This is an acquisition directly linked to the mission and vision that the territory has adopted for Mont Ham: to preserve and promote, in a sustainable manner, the natural components of the Park while offering and developing outdoor activities that promote discovery and respect for nature. This development also reflects a desire to maintain balance and respect for the ecosystems, as well as bringing people and nature closer, and promoting the economic dynamism of communities.” – Hugues Grimard, Prefect of the MRC des Sources

"The Projet Pivot, through its deployment in many regions of Quebec, offers a portfolio of thousands of hectares of different properties, varied forests and diversified woodland owner profiles, which is of great interest to buyers of carbon credits on the voluntary market. Our willingness to work with NCC is particularly motivated by the fact that the legal conservation status in their Ham-Sud project, which was established after the initial carbon credit eligibility analysis process, provides complementary permanence to the other types of woodland owners in this project. The new revenues generated on this NCC property will contribute to the permanence of its conservation actions and the realization of its mission" - Étienne Desmarais, President and CEO of social enterprise ECOTIERRA.

"Laforêt, coopérative de services forestiers is proud to participate in this project by selling this property to NCC. This way, the property will remain a forested land, and the entire community will be able to benefit from it." - Hugues Beaudoin, President, Laforêt, coopérative de services forestiers  


  • The area includes several types of forest stands: deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests.
  • A wide variety of tree species can be found here, including sugar maple, balsam fir, red maple, red spruce, white cedar and yellow birch.
  • The 516 hectares are also home to a large number of animals, including ruffed grouse, pileated woodpecker, tawny thrush, wood frog and moose.
  • The Estrie region and Centre-du-Québec are the only two regions in Quebec where Van Brunt’s Jacob’s-ladder is known to grow. In Canada, it is also found in New Brunswick.
  • Seventy-two bird species have been observed at the Mont-Ham Regional Park over the past five years, including two at risk: Canada warbler and eastern woodpecker. This new property, which is adjacent to the park, includes habitat for these two at-risk birds.
  • The summit of the Mont-Ham Regional Park offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape. It is the only completely unobstructed summit in southern Quebec.
  • These protected lands are in an important connectivity zone identified by the Quebec Ecological Corridors Initiative (QECI). The QECI was launched by NCC and is led by 10 organizations and their many partners.


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, 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.  

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.

The Gouvernement du Québec through the Projet de partenariat pour les milieux naturels (PPMN). The 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.

ECOTIERRA is a social and family-owned company that develops and operates unique, holistic, and sustainable agroforestry projects. Firmly based in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the company's mission is to work with small producers and landowners to use the land responsibly, accelerating the sustainable development of their communities, and thereby combating climate change and soil degradation. In existence for 13 years, it has generated nearly $30 million in value from family farms and forests originating products. The Pivot Forest Project is its first project in Quebec, aiming to eventually include 15,000 hectares of forests in different regions of the province.

The Quebec Ecological Corridors Initiative (QECI) was launched by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) 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.

QECI is supported by over 100 experts and stakeholders and receives most of its funding from the following organizations: the Gouvernement du Québec (under the Action-Climat Québec program which meets the objectives of the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy), the Government of Canada’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, the Woodcock Foundation and Fondation de la faune du Québec.

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