11 Apr A UNIFYING PROJECT ALLOWS THE PRESERVATION OF A FOREST IN BROMONT
Bromont, April 12, 2023 – The Appalachian Corridor conservation organization and the citizens group Protection Mont-Gale officially announce the protection in perpetuity of 14.04 hectares (34.7 acres) of a high ecological value forest in Bromont Mount Gale’s area.
This project, totalizing more than 3 million dollars, required several steps of negotiation, regulatory changes, as well as major efforts to finance the acquisition, including a major local fundraising campaign. It is now officially concluded. Thanks to the volunteers of Protection Mont-Gale, to the population that responded, to the Town of Bromont as well as to all the financial actors involved in the project, this part of Mount Gale is now protected in perpetuity by Appalachian Corridor, not only for today’s citizens, but also for those of tomorrow.
A FOREST OF HIGH ECOLOGICAL VALUE
The protected forest is part of Mount Brome massif, one of the nine Monteregian hills in southwestern Quebec. It is also located within a nucleus of important wildlife and plant habitats identified by the Appalachian Corridor. The environment is rich in biodiversity, in addition to being home to species at risk in Quebec and/or Canada.
The land, located outside the current urbanization perimeter of the City of Bromont, was originally intended for residential development.
RETURN ON A PROJECT REQUIRING A COLLECTIVE EFFORT
Despite the important contribution in the form of land donation from Domaine du Mont-Gale S.E.C. represented by Mr. Denis Laframboise, owner of the BALNEA spa, the donations collected by Protection Mont-Gale, the participation of the City of Bromont as well as a participation of more than $540,000 from the Government of Quebec through the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Partnership Project for Natural Environments, the financial set-up was far from being complete. A little over a million dollars were raised by Appalachian Corridor from various partners to complete the project’s budget.
A major fundraising campaign within a tight time frame
To finalize the financial arrangements, a fundraising campaign with a total objective of $375,000 was organized and successfully completed thanks to Stéphanie Latour, spokesperson for Protection Mont-Gale, André Piette, and all the organization’s citizen volunteers. The entire population of the region, as well as its businesses, responded, showing their solidarity and generosity by participating in this financial effort to protect this part of the Mount Gale Forest.
Municipalities: major players in conservation
The leadership and active participation of the City of Bromont in this project has made all the difference. This is a record-breaking municipal financial contribution for Appalachian Corridor in a conservation transaction. The negotiations between the owner, Appalachian Corridor and the City were decisive. Finally, the project required the adoption of a specific construction, alteration, or occupancy project (PPCMOI), which was essential to obtaining an agreement that would allow both the protection of the natural environment and residential development on a small portion of the land.
In addition to the remarkable work of the citizen volunteers of Protection Mont-Gale, Appalachian Corridor would like to warmly thank all the actors who made this project possible: The City of Bromont, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (through its Natural Environments Partnership Project, for which the Government of Quebec granted them financial assistance of more than 53 million dollars over four years), Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Community Designated Priority Sites for Species at Risk initiative of the Nature Fund of Canada), Echo Foundation and the Fondation de la faune du Québec with its Hydro-Québec program for the enhancement of natural environments.
“We were literally carried along by the energy of the Protection Mount Gale citizen volunteer group. The proportion and the value of what can be accomplished with the momentum of the community is impressive. Appalachian Corridor’s work is not just about protecting nature for nature’s sake. It is also about protecting nature for our communities. We are pleased to have answered the call of the citizens’ group to protect this site. We have used all our skills acquired over the past 20 years. The landowner also deserves our gratitude for choosing to dedicate his land to conservation and for his generous donation of land. To all the donors and financial partners who have contributed to the protection of this magnificent natural setting in perpetuity, THANK YOU! ”
– Mélanie Lelièvre, Executive Director of Appalachian Corridor
“We are very proud to have contributed to the preservation of this forest and would like to sincerely thank all the actors who have shown creativity to reach a final agreement. Many thanks to all the donors who have demonstrated their commitment to the conservation of nature for the common good. A special thank you to the residents of the sector who invested time and money in this collective project when the outcome was more than uncertain. Their mobilization was exemplary and a source of motivation. This adventure, which began almost two years ago, is a demonstration that it is possible to take action to rally all the stakeholders around the same cause while respecting everyone’s interests. Together, we can embody change for the better. “
– Stéphanie Latour, spokesperson, Protection Mont-Gale group
“It is with such initiatives that we change the world! I salute the hard work of the volunteers of Protection Mont-Gale and all the partners. It is a community woven together for the use of sustainable practices such as soil conservation and preservation in perpetuity. The decisions made today will have a major positive impact and is an extraordinary legacy for future generations.”
– Louis Villeneuve, Mayor of the City of Bromont
“Protecting nature is an investment in the well-being of communities and the maintenance of our biodiversity. Nature provides us with services—it purifies our air and our water, it feeds us, and contributes to our leisure activities. The dedication of Bromont’s community will have positive impacts both now, and for generations to come. Together, we are taking action to achieve our goal of preserving one-quarter of Canada’s land and oceans by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“The protection of natural environments near cities makes a big difference for the citizens who live there. They are easily accessible for the population to enjoy their many benefits. In addition to these benefits, this project allows for the conservation of species at risk and enhances the network of protected areas on private land in southern Quebec. This is therefore excellent news and I am pleased that my department was able to contribute to it. Thank you to everyone involved for your contribution to this acquisition!”
– Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks and Minister responsible for the Laurentian region.
“The announcement of the protection of a sector of Mount Gale in perpetuity is excellent news for the Eastern Townships’ population, but also for all those who visit us and travel through our magnificent territory. I would like to thank all those involved in this preservation effort, including my colleague Benoit Charette.”
– Isabelle Charest, Minister responsible for Sport, Recreation and Outdoors and MNA for Brome-Missisquoi
“I salute the professionalism of all the parties involved in this conservation project. The discussions went well according to a common objective: to protect an ecosystem that is dear to us.”
– Mr. Denis Laframboise, president of BALNEA spa + thermal reserve, donor, and former owner of the land.