Rivière Rouge property, QC (Photo by John Berryman)

Rivière Rouge property, QC (Photo by John Berryman)

Ottawa couple protects nine kilometres on Rivière Rouge in major forest corridor in the Laurentians

December 12, 2019
Ottawa, Ont.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has received a generous gift of land that expands a key wilderness corridor between Ottawa and Montreal.

The not-for-profit group today announced it is now the owner of 685 hectares (1,692 acres) of forested land in Harrington, Quebec.   

The land donation is by John and Louise Berryman and is strategically located near other NCC conservation lands. This nine-kilometre-long property on the west bank of the Red River (Rivière Rouge) canyon is an important forest corridor that links the Ottawa Valley to the Parc national du Mont-Tremblant.

The property is mainly home to deciduous forests typical of the southern Laurentians, ideal habitat for large mammals such as moose and black bear, which have been spotted there. There are also wetlands, such as wooded marshes and peat bogs, that provide suitable nesting grounds and resting stops for many migratory bird species, including the least bittern, a species designated as vulnerable under the Government of Quebec’s Act Respecting Threatened or Vulnerable Species (ARTVS) and threatened under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA).

There are also butternut trees on the property, an endangered species under SARA that is likely to be designated as at-risk under the ARTVS.


This private land conservation project was made possible by many partners. NCC especially wishes to thank land donors John and Louise Berryman, owners of the Harrington Forestry Centre (Centre Forestier Harrington), an entity dedicated to sustainable forest management and forestry (Harrington Tree Nursery) for their generosity.

The project was also supported  by the Ensemble pour la nature project of the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (through its North

American Wetlands Conservation Act), and the ECHO Foundation.

The generous donation of part of the property was made through the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. To learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program, visit canada.ca/ecological-gifts.

This acquisition makes it possible to consolidate an important ecological corridor for the connectivity of the natural areas. NCC is working to mobilize communities around this issue through the Action-Climat Québec program of the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques.


“It has been a pleasure working with the Nature Conservancy of Canada in furthering our efforts to protect the natural diversity of this unique forest habitat for future generations. Our donation has provided us with a sense of timeless purpose through the conservation of a significant biodiverse woodland property in the heart of the Lower Laurentians.” - John Berryman – Owner of the Centre Forestier Harrington

“The protection of this property consolidates a major forest corridor for the movement of species between the Rivière des Outaouais and the Parc national du Mont-Tremblant. Many species need these large expanses to roam and fulfill their life cycles.” - Marie-Andrée Tougas-Tellier, project manager at the Nature Conservancy of Canada

“Through its support of the Ensemble pour la nature project, the Government of Quebec wanted to protect biodiversity in southern Quebec, where human activities are exerting the greatest pressures on ecosystems. By preserving natural environments typical of the Laurentians region, the initiative announced today is not only fully in line with this priority, but also contributes to the general quality of life for the population and to the fight against climate change. Congratulations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada for this very significant new action.” - Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change

“With the help of partners like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and John and Louise Berryman and with conservation initiatives such as the Ecological Gifts Program, we are doubling the amount of protected nature across Canada’s lands and oceans. Nature is central to our Canadian identity, and, by taking the initiative now to increase the amount of protected areas, we’re ensuring Canadians now and in the future can connect to nature and experience its wonders.” - The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change


  • Ecological connectivity is a crucial element in conserving natural areas. Ecological corridors are natural passages through which wildlife moves from one habitat to another. It is essential to protect and restore these corridors in areas fragmented by human infrastructure such as roads and cities.   
  • The protection of this property is part of a broader initiative to conserve natural corridors in the southern Laurentians region and thus promote connectivity. This land is located approximately four kilometres northeast of the Kenauk-Vallée de la Rivière Saumon (Kinonge) territory, where NCC has been working since 2013 and currently protects 6,000 hectares (14,825 acres).


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation'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 and its partners have helped to conserve 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, including close to 48,000 hectares (120,000 acres) in Quebec. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.                            

The Ensemble pour la nature project (PEPN) is a three-year, $15 million grant to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) from Quebec’s Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC). It aims to establish financial partnerships and acquire scientific knowledge to ensure the conservation and protection of natural environments on private lands in Quebec between now and March 31, 2020. It thus promotes solidarity with respect to protected areas by involving Quebec communities in conservation actions.

The Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) was established to accelerate the pace of land conservation across southern Canada.  Federal funds invested in the public-private partnership program were matched by contributions raised by NCC and its partners.  Habitat conserved under the NACP will enhance natural corridors and other protected areas.

The NACP concluded March 31, 2019.  It has been replaced by Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP), which will continue to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. 

The Ecological corridors: a climate change adaptation strategy project is made possible thanks to the Action-Climat Québec program. The Fondation de la faune du Québec in collaboration with the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, the ECHO Foundation and the Woodcock Foundation are also financial partners in this project. conservationdelanature.ca/corridors

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Media Contact:

Elizabeth Sbaglia
Communications Manager, Quebec Region
Nature Conservancy of Canada
1 877-876-5444 x6240

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