06 Dec Happy 15th Anniversary Appalachian Corridor!
Appalachian Corridor celebrates its 15th anniversary. At the origin of the organization, three nature lovers – ecologist Louise Gratton, conservation biologist Francine Hone and the late Terri Monahan, project manager. These three women created and implemented an ambitious conservation project to protect the natural corridor in the Appalachians of southern Quebec. What was then called the Appalachian Corridor Project came to being in response to growing pressures on the territory. At the time, already, the implementation of a global conservation strategy was needed to minimize the impacts of human activities and preserve sufficient forested areas to maintain biodiversity. Since then, with unwavering support from its partners, Appalachian Corridor has pursued the vision of its founders. One conservation project after another, pieces of the puzzle fall into place to make this initial vision come true and connect the Mount Sutton Range to Mount Orford.
Our efforts are focused on creating protected areas and maintaining their connectivity. Since our inception, the area protected on private land has expanded from 400 ha (990 acres) to more than 13,300 hectares (32,900 acres). Between conservation actions, our work with municipalities, influencing role in land use planning, multiplying outreach activities, our major project of a wildlife crossing over Highway 10 and everything else, we can say that Appalachian Corridor continues to evolve and expand at a steady pace! Over the last 15 years everything has grown: the number of Affiliate Members, the number and extent of protected areas on the territory, our mission, our responsibilities and our risk tolerance! Our results are made possible thanks to our conservation partners as well as the generosity of many landowners driven by the desire to protect nature and leave a healthy legacy for future generations. With experience comes the realisation that, on a territory largely under private tenure and where development pressure is enormous, we cannot protect everything everywhere. To truly succeed in preserving biodiversity we need to work with others. Like nature, we network! We are therefore collaborating with a growing number of stakeholders: foresters, municipalities, government agencies, universities, trail managers and even, as in the case of Mount Foster, with real estate developers. Our American partners also help us consolidate our strategy across the border. All these collaborations allow us to extend our scope of action, a scope that is also growing. In all humility, in 15 years Appalachian Corridor has become a conservation leader in Quebec. The provincial government adopted the Nagoya Protocol and Aichi Biodiversity Targets, thus committing to protect 17% of terrestrial ecosystems and inland water. We intend to reach this target and to protect, one day, at least 17% of the Green Mountains of Quebec. Join me in wishing Appalachian Corridor a happy 15th anniversary!