Nature being preserved
for future generations
200 hectares of forest with trails protected on the southern slopes of the Sutton Mountains
July 1, 2023
One of the largest protected areas of private land in Quebec is expanding. Three landowners have chosen to entrust their parcels of land in Glen Sutton to Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Thanks to their gesture, the nature found there will be preserved for generations to come!
In addition to expanding the Réserve naturelle des Montagnes-Vertes, these new conserved areas will help maintain the ecological corridor of which they are a part. This corridor enables wildlife to move north to Mount Orford and south to Mount Mansfield in the heart of Vermont, which is essential for the survival of the large-range species that live there.
In addition to expanding the Réserve naturelle des Montagnes-Vertes, these new conserved areas will help maintain the ecological corridor of which they are a part.
This project demonstrates how essential collaboration is to accelerate the pace of conservation. While the mountain resort Au Diable Vert has acquired land adjacent to the NCC site and will make it accessible, Les Sentiers de l’Estrie is upgrading certain trails. As a result, hiking enthusiasts will have access to even more opportunities for exploration and unforgettable views of the region.
The Quebec Ecological Corridors Initiative (QECI) was launched by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in 2017 to accelerate the conservation of natural environments connected by ecological corridors. The initiative, which is coordinated by NCC, is led by a group of 10 organizations that propose a collective land-use planning approach to provincial and municipal players, woodlot and farmland owners, and other key stakeholders. To this end, mobilization, capacity-building, recognition and support activities are carried out in the southern Quebec region.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and Au Diable Vert expand one of the largest protected areas on private land by nearly 200 hectares with the addition of three newly acquired properties. These forest-covered lands consolidate the vast ecological corridor that extends across the U.S. border into the heart of Vermont.
‘Nature Conservancy of Canada and Au Diable Vert join forces to expand one of the largest protected areas on private land in Quebec.’
These properties almost double the size of the protected area on the southern slopes of the Sutton Mountains, from 250 hectares to almost 450. CNC and Au Diable Vert have acquired 97 and 90 hectares respectively. These properties will be added to the Montagnes-Vertes nature reserve, considered to be one of the few areas in southern Quebec where large tracts of relatively untouched wilderness still exist.
The Eastern Woodpecker, a small bird designated as Special Concern in Canada under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), and the Purple Salamander, designated as Vulnerable in Quebec under the Loi sur les espèces menacées ou vulnérables (LEMV) and Threatened under SARA, have been observed on at least one of the properties.
Climate change is now forcing many species to slowly migrate northwards, which is difficult for land animals and plants when forests are not connected.
The vast ecological corridor in question stretches from Mount Mansfield in the south, in Vermont, USA, to Mount Orford in the north, in Quebec. It plays a vital role in the region’s nature, but also benefits local communities by purifying water and stimulating the economy through job creation and the presence of large numbers of tourists attracted by the benefits of a true connection with nature.
The ecological interest of these acquisitions lies in their size, location and biodiversity. The land is located in a highly important ecological corridor. Animals with large home ranges, such as black bears, bobcats and moose, depend on these large protected areas to meet their breeding and feeding needs, as well as to get around.
‘In the face of rapidly declining biodiversity and climate change, nature is our ally. And none of these crises can be solved without conserving nature.’
The region’s natural attractions and breathtaking scenery appeal to people from near and far. It is essential for NCC and its partners to protect nature while making it accessible. Au Diable Vert and Les Sentiers de l’Estrie offer hikers of all levels the opportunity to enjoy forest hiking in this magnificent part of the province. To this end, Les Sentiers de l’Estrie is upgrading certain trails, while Au Diable Vert will be developing new ones to give hiking enthusiasts access to this natural environment.
This project demonstrates how NCC is accelerating the pace of conservation in Canada. In the past two years alone, its work has influenced the protection of more than 1 million hectares, almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island.
In the years to come, the organization will double its impact by mobilizing the Canadian population and delivering sustainable, far-reaching conservation results. In the face of rapidly declining biodiversity and climate change, nature is our ally. And none of these crises can be solved without conserving nature. When nature thrives, we all benefit.
‘In the past two years alone, its work has influenced the protection of more than 1 million hectares, almost twice the size of Prince Edward Island.’
“Conservation is a collaborative effort: it takes partnerships with local groups, municipalities, governments, landowners and businesses to succeed. The Nature Conservancy of Canada is proud to partner on this project with Au Diable Vert and Les Sentiers de l’Estrie, who share our desire to help people discover our beautiful nature, and for everyone to take action to preserve the region’s ecosystems.”
– Cynthia Patry, Project Manager, Nature Conservancy of Canada
“Au Diable Vert has been pleased to work with CNC for several years. Our projects have enabled us to work together to achieve common goals of conservation, interpretation and access. By working together, we’ve been able to acquire and protect large sections of wilderness, which would have been much more difficult without this collaboration.”
– Jeremy Fontana, co-owner, Au Diable Vert
“Trail preservation has been at the heart of our mission since the early days of Sentiers de l’Estrie. This lasting collaboration will restore connectivity to part of our network. Conservation efforts are beneficial for the protection and enhancement of the territory, as well as for the realization of our mission.”
– Julie Denis, new General Manager, Les Sentiers de l’Estrie
‘Conservation is a collaborative effort: it takes partnerships with local groups, municipalities, governments, landowners and businesses to succeed.’
“Ecological corridors are essential to the conservation of our biodiversity. This acquisition is very important, and I’m proud that our government is able to contribute to it. We must continue to protect our territory because it’s our wildlife and our citizens who benefit. I would like to salute the involvement of all those associated with this promising project for the environment and biodiversity conservation.
– Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Laurentian region.
“The acquisition of this land is very positive for the citizens of Sutton and the surrounding area. Several hectares were already protected at this location, and numerous trails had already been developed. New trails will be added to the newly acquired land, and many others will be upgraded. What’s more, knowing how much well-being we derive from the practice of physical activities in nature, this is excellent news!”
– Isabelle Charest, Minister responsible for Sport, Recreation and Outdoors and MNA for Brome-Missisquoi
“It is only by adopting a pan-social approach that we can hope to address the crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss. By working with partners such as Nature Conservancy of Canada, Les Sentiers de l’Estrie, Au Diable Vert, and generous landowner Mr. William O. Triolet, we are helping to protect the natural environment and bring Canadians closer to nature, both in Quebec and across the country. Through programs such as the Natural Heritage Conservation Program and the Ecological Gifts Program, the Government of Canada is making progress toward its goal of protecting and conserving one-quarter of Canada’s land and water by 2025, and striving to increase that proportion to 30% by 2030.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
‘It is only by adopting a pan-social approach that we can hope to address the crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss.’
“Congratulations to our partners Au Diable Vert, Les Sentiers de l’Estrie and Nature Conservancy of Canada for their ongoing conservation efforts in Sutton, Quebec. Thanks to you, Mr. William O. Triolet, for your generous land donation that will help preserve our natural heritage in the Appalachian Corridor for generations to come.”
– The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, MNA for Brome-Missisquoi, Quebec
Nature Conservancy Canada
Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s unifying force for nature conservation. Through the permanent conservation of vast territories, NCC provides solutions to the twin crises of rapidly declining biodiversity and climate change. A trusted partner, NCC works alongside individuals, communities, businesses and governments to protect and care for our most important natural areas. Since 1962, NCC has mobilized Canadians to conserve and restore more than 15 million hectares. In Quebec, nearly 50,000 hectares have been protected. With nature, we create a prosperous world.
Au Diable Vert
Au Diable Vert is an exclusive four-season mountain resort in Sutton, Quebec. Perched on an alpine pasture between the peaks of Sutton, Jay Peak and Owl’s Head, the 230-hectare resort offers a wide range of accommodations and all kinds of seasonal outdoor activities, as well as an extensive network of trails.
Les Sentiers de l’Estrie
Les Sentiers de l’Estrie inc. is a non-profit organization whose main mission is to promote hiking by making forest trails accessible. Covering a large part of the Eastern Townships, from south of Sutton to Richmond, and including the Stoke Mountains to the east, its network of over 200 kilometers of trails offers extraordinary hiking opportunities. All this thanks to the invaluable collaboration of landowners who have granted rights of way, and the strong support of our members, partners and numerous volunteers.
Appalachian Corridor is a non-profit conservation organization celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022. Its mission is to protect the natural environments and biodiversity of the Appalachian region of southern Quebec. Through the implementation of its conservation strategy, Appalachian Corridor provides local communities with the means to maintain and restore a living environment that respects the region’s ecology, in a perspective of sustainable development.
A total of 17 local organizations are affiliated members of Appalachian Corridor. Together, they help accelerate and expand conservation projects in the region. Since the beginning of its activities, the area protected by Appalachian Corridor and its partners has grown to over 16,200 hectares – more than the size of the city of Granby.
This accomplishment was made possible by a number of financial partners:
- The Quebec government, through the financial assistance of more than $53 million over 4 years granted to NCC.
- The Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
- Private donors, including the Anderson family, Mrs. Dorynek Scheer and Mr. Triolet, who have chosen to protect their land by collaborating with NCC, as well as the Sweet Water Trust Foundation.
- Part of this project was donated to CNC under the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. This program offers tax benefits to individuals and corporations who donate ecologically sensitive land.
- The Appalachian Corridor helped with the ecological assessment of the properties.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’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 protect 14 million hectares, coast to coast to coast, including 48,000 hectares in Quebec. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca