Appalachian Corridor launches its enhancement project for the largest private conservation area in Quebec



    POTTON, QC, Jan. 16 /CNW Telbec/ -With financial support from the
Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l'environnement, Appalachian Corridor (ACA) is
launching a major enhancement project involving 4,874.25 ha (12,044.53 acres)
of protected land in the Sutton Mountains. This large forest, which spans the
municipalities of Sutton, Potton and West Bolton, will be known as the Green
Mountains Nature Reserve, the largest private conservation area in Quebec.
    The Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l'environnement (FHQE) is the main source
of funding for the project and will invest $524,000 over the next two years.
The project's goal is to increase public access to this area while ensuring
that use is compatible with conservation.
    "We have supported Nature Conservancy Canada's conservation initiatives
in this magnificent forest for many years", stated Catherine Leconte,
Executive Director of the FHQE. "Now we are delighted to support ACA's project
to make the area better known to a broader, more diversified public."
According to Agathe Simard, Regional Director - Richelieu at Hydro-Québec,
"This initiative reconciles environmental conservation with community
stewardship of natural habitats."

    Accessibility, protection and interpretation

    The enhancement project for the future Green Mountains Nature Reserve
will involve various types of activity over the next two years. To improve
access to outdoor activity areas without disturbing the forest's ecological
balance, existing entrance points will be consolidated and new entrance points
will be created.
    Similarly, trails will be developed to link neighboring villages to the
conservation area and provide access. A trail network will also be laid out
within the Green Mountains Nature Reserve to contain the flow of visitors.
These trails have been designed to maintain the ecological integrity of this
vast woodland and protect its sensitive components, such as wetlands and
habitats for threatened and vulnerable species.
    Finally, education and interpretation activities will be developed by ACA
and its partners to help visitors understand the ecological value of the
nature reserve.

    Projected outcome

    By making the area better known and by involving the local communities,
ACA hopes to develop a sense of stewardship among the population that will
support long-term maintenance of the ecological integrity of this natural
area. "Providing access to this area is important for building public support
for its conservation", emphasized ACA President, Marie-José Auclair. "It will
also help people understand the ecological, economic and recreational
importance of this natural area."
    ACA would like to thank its private and public partners in this project,
specifically the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l'environnement, Nature
Conservancy Canada, the Federal Government, Table des MRC de l'Estrie, Agence
forestière de la Montérégie, the municipalites of Potton, Sutton and
Lac-Brome, Sentiers de l'Estrie, Parc d'environnement naturel de Sutton,
Ruiter Valley Land Trust, Mount Echo Conservation Association, and its many
volunteers.

    Appalachian Corridor is a non-profit conservation organization whose
mission is to protect the natural environments in the Appalachians. Through
implementation of a transborder conservation strategy, ACA provides local
communities with the means to maintain and restore a way of life that respects
the ecology of the region and fosters sustainable development. ACA offers
technical assistance, advice and expertise to conservation organizations and
contributors who share its vision. In addition, ACA organizes various
activities focusing on conservation awareness for landowners, conservation
organizations and the general public. For more information, please visit the
ACA Web site at www.apcor.ca.

    The Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l'environnement supports organizations'
tangible initiatives to protect, restore and conserve natural areas and their
efforts to educate local communities about environmental issues related to
their way of life. Between 2001 and 2007, the Foundation contributed almost
$7 million to over 100 projects, for a total of more than $21 million. To find
out more about the Foundation's projects, mission, goals and operations,
please visit its Web site at www.hydroquebec.com/fondation-environnement.




For further information:

For further information: Caroline Rioux, Coordinator, Green Mountains
Nature Reserve, Appalachian Corridor, (450) 242-1125, caroline.rioux@apcor.ca,
www.apcor.ca; Danielle Lavoie, Media Relations, Fondation Hydro-Québec pour
l'environnement, (514) 961-6183, lavoie.danielle.4@hydro.qc.ca,
www.hydroquebec.com/fondation-environnement

Organization Profile

Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l'environnement

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APPALACHIAN CORRIDOR

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