Claude Côté

Quebec

Number of projects: 14

Land value: Land value is the appraised value of land that NCC has conserved directly and with partners. $3,127,550

Acres conserved: 1,526

Stewardship volunteers: 99

NCC protects a wetland of national importance near Lake Champlain

NCC

With the help of several partners, including the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement and the Government of Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) acquired a 390-acre (158-hectare) property located in the tourbière de Venise-Ouest (peatland), in Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville (near Lake Champlain).

This important wetland, of which close to 70 percent is now protected, is characterized by the large number of at-risk or vulnerable species found here. This property expands the area covered by the Tourbière-de-Venise-Ouest Nature Reserve, a portion of which is accessible to the public.

One of the most rare and remarkable plant species found in this area is the bog fern, designated as threatened in Quebec. The peatland is home to a significant population of almost 10,000 of these ferns; the most plentiful occurrence of this plant in Quebec. Bog fern have been observed in only three other regions in the province.

NCC celebrated the 10-year anniversary of a partnership with l’Université du Québec à Montréal. The research on NCC’s properties contributes to a collective knowledge about protected areas, the species that live in them and the ecological services they provide.

Popular spot for tourists, outdoor enthusiasts and hikers grows

Mark Tomalty

NCC announced the protection of more than three square kilometres of critical habitat in the Sutton area of the Green Mountains in Quebec.

The property was purchased from the new owners of the adjacent Mont Sutton ski resort. The lands will remain accessible to hikers at all times and extend the Green Mountains Nature Reserve, which currently spreads over 70 square kilometres.

Located in the Eastern Townships, close to Montreal, the property covers the Dos d’Orignal and the northwest side of Mount Gagnon. Eighteen streams cross the property, representing an important reserve of crystal-clear water, key to the survival of spring salamanders, an at-risk species.

The site provides habitat for wide-ranging mammals, such as moose and fisher. It also features a rich old-growth forest. This property, with its incomparable views, will remain in excellent condition and free from development.

Volunteers lend a hand cleaning litter at Missisquoi Bay

NCC

In August 2015, a group of Conservation Volunteers led by NCC staff set out on a mission to clean up the Missisquoi Bay Nature Refuge, near Lake Champlain, in St-Armand, Quebec. Their work aimed to help maintain the quality of the refuge’s wetland and shorelines.

The Missisquoi Bay Nature Refuge consists of a narrow wooded area separated from the shoreline by a wetland and a strip of shoreline, both about half a kilometre long. The wooded area is private and not normally accessible to visitors. The shoreline is open to the public and features a nature trail with educational signage.

The day was split in two: in the morning, volunteers cleaned up the wooded part of the property and, in the afternoon, they moved to the shoreline.

Over the course of the day, the volunteers amassed a mountain of trash — plastics of all kinds, glass bottles, rusted steel drums and paint cans, tires, carpeting, metal building materials, porcelain toilets smashed into pieces, and more.

The shoreline of this property is the nesting ground for a threatened species, the spiny softshell turtle. It is the only area with confirmed sightings of the species in Quebec. Female turtles lay their eggs in the sand in June. Predation, changing shorelines and certain recreational activities, such as motorized boating, all threaten this species’ survival.

After a day of hard work and discovery, the volunteers left with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that their efforts brought a noticeable change to the Missisquoi Bay Nature Refuge’s environment.