The Minister responsible for the Outaouais, Mathieu Lacombe, along with Gatineau MNA Robert Bussière, said that they are pleased with the announcement by the Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, of his intention to set aside four additional territories in the Outaouais region with the intention of enlarging the region’s biodiversity reserves. As a result, all industrial activity or natural resource extraction will be prohibited. In the Pontiac, the Mount O’Brien territory, in the municipality of Alleyn-et-Cawood is included.
“Three of the four territories set aside are intended to enlarge existing proposed biodiversity reserves in the MRC Vallée-de-la-Gatineau, namely those of Mont-Sainte-Marie and Domaine-La Vérendrye. The fourth territory, meanwhile, aims to expand the proposed Mont-O’Brien biodiversity reserve in the MRC of Pontiac. The planned area of the new protected territories is approximately 200 sq. km. The setting aside of these territories will make it possible to improve the network of protected areas in southern Quebec, more particularly in the Outaouais region, while the government had also announced its intention to set aside 30 sq. km. in the territory of Mashkiki last June,” the press release states (tr.).
Two expansions are planned for the proposed Domaine-La Vérendrye biodiversity reserve, located in the La Vérendrye wildlife reserve. The first will refine the boundaries of the protected area, while the second will ensure the protection of an important new sector around Lake Byrd, west of the current reserve. The designated territories were all selected taking into account the regional and Aboriginal consultation work carried out by the Ministry of the Environment.