Danielle Vézina and Guy Rioux on the land they donated to Appalachian Corridor for perpetual protection.

Eastman, Québec (January 13, 2021)Appalachian Corridor is happy to announce the perpetual protection of close to 17 hectares in Saint-Étienne-de-Bolton thanks to the generosity and commitment of Danielle Vézina and Guy Rioux. This land, zoned white, brings the total of private protected land to 14,494 hectares on Appalachian Corridor’s territory of action.

The family acquired the land – accessible from the chemin Grand-Bois and primarily consisting of woodland – in 2010, with the hope of exploiting the forest. Over the years, their bond to the land deepened and their concerns grew that it could one day get into the hands of real estate developers.

Saint-Étienne-de-Bolton is located south west of Eastman, Québec.

“The idea of protecting this land was inspired by the beauty of the site, our desire to protect the life that surrounds us, to create an area of respite for the local fauna and to let the flora run its course, without having to plant, use pesticides, or harvest,” explains M. Vézina.

“The conservation process was very enriching,” adds Mr. Rioux. “We were concerned about seeing future real estate developments on the land and we are reassured that the scenery will now remain intact forever, in addition to the many benefits to biodiversity.”

This project will directly contribute to the protection of the habitat of the stream salamanders including the Northern Dusky Salamander (likely to be designated as threatened), as well as that of priority avian species such as the Black-throated Warbler, the Blue Warbler, the Crowned Warbler, the Black-and-White Warbler, and the Flicker Woodpecker. With respect to floral species, the protection of the land in perpetuity will be beneficial for the two-leaved toothwort (Cardamine diphylla) and the ostrich-fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris), both of which are designated vulnerable to harvest in Quebec. In addition to these endangered species, the inventory work carried out by the Appalachian Corridor biologists also confirmed the presence on the land of the white-tailed deer, black bears, American porcupines and a wintering area for moose.

Left Crowned Warbler (source: Adobestock) and right, Northern Dusky Salamander (Appalachian Corridor).

“On behalf of the community and the entire Appalachian Corridor team, I wish to thank the Vézina-Rioux family for its substantial contribution to nature,” expresses Mélanie Lelièvre, executive director for Appalachian Corridor who becomes the owner of the land to ensure its protection in perpetuity. “This region has fewer protected areas and we are particularly happy to have accompanied the family to create this first dominant fund in this massif. We hope other owners in the sector will be inspired since such conservation initiatives will have an impact on the ecology, the health of the community, the beauty of our region and even the slowing down of the effects of climate change. It’s win-win on all fronts,” adds Lelièvre.

The donation made by the Vézina-Rioux family has been recognized by the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. In additional to the positive ecological outcomes, this program offers considerable tax advantages to owners who choose to invest in the protection of biodiversity.

The forest in its full glory in the summertime (source: Appalachian Corridor). 

Appalachian Corridor thanks the following financial partners for their contributions to the successful completion of this project: the Fondation de la faune du Québec through the Protéger les habitats fauniques program, Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk program, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Echo Foundation.



Protéger les habitats fauniques program by the Fondation de la faune du Québec
The Protéger les habitats fauniques program by the Fondation de la faune du Québec aims to support high value habitat protection initiatives through the settlement of legal conservation agreements with private landowners. fondationdelafaune.qc.ca

Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk by Environment and Climate Change Canada
Created in 2000, the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk program allows the financing of projects that contribute directly to the objectives related to recovery objectives and population goals of species at risk listed on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and prevent others from becoming a conservation concern. canada.ca

Appalachian Corridor
Appalachian Corridor is a non-profit conservation organization founded in 2002 with a mission to protect natural areas in the Appalachian region of Southern Québec. Through the implementation of a cross-border conservation strategy, Appalachian Corridor works with local communities to maintain and restore a way of life that respects the ecology of the region from a perspective of sustainable development. To date, Appalachian Corridor and its 17 members have allowed the perpetual protection of 14,494 hectares on their territory of action. corridorappalachien.ca

Marie-Hélène Thibeault
Communocations coordinator