QUÉBEC, Nov. 5, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - The Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Mr. Pierre Dufour, has established an independent commission on boreal and mountain caribou and has announced a series of regional public hearings in winter 2022 to seek the views of participants on two adaptive caribou habitat management scenarios.
Chaired by Ms. Nancy Gélinas, dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics at Université Laval and research professor in forestry economics, this independent travelling commission will travel to some regions where boreal or mountain caribou are found, which are the Capitale-Nationale (Charlevoix), Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Côte-Nord, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Nord-du-Québec and Gaspésie regions. To complete this mandate, Ms. Gélinas will be accompanied by two commissioners, Mr. Clément D'Astous and Mr. Florent Gagné, both of whom served as deputy ministers in several Québec departments. These commissioners were chosen for their expertise in the areas of sustainable development that are the environment, the social component and the economy.
The Commission will meet with citizens, Indigenous communities and stakeholders from the targeted regions. People from other regions who want to address the caribou issue will be able to do so by submitting a brief.
The proposed scenarios are based on the analysis from the ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs and focus, on the one hand, on possible solutions proposed by the regional operational groups, and on the other hand, on a scenario with no additional impact on wood supply.
At the end of the hearings scheduled for winter 2022, a report and recommendations will be sent to the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and integrated into the future strategy.
Removal of forest areas
In addition, in the wake of the announcement regarding the Commission, Minister Dufour has announced the removal of nearly 155,000 hectares (1,550 km2) of paleudified forest area from its planning for the benefit of caribou. The Minister asked the Chief Forester to withdraw the affected territories from his forestry opportunities calculation for 2023-2028.
These paleudified landscapes provide quality habitat for boreal caribou, as evidenced by population monitoring data that demonstrate a high use of these territories by this species. The paludification process consists of a gradual accumulation of organic matter caused by the prolonged absence of severe disturbance on poorly permeable soil in a landscape dominated by flat topography.
"The creation of this independent commission, the first of its kind in Canada, and the protection of caribou-friendly territories demonstrate our government's commitment to finding concrete and pragmatic solutions to the sustainability of caribou in Québec. The two proposed scenarios and upcoming public hearings are a continuation of these efforts and are intended to provide a comprehensive and exhaustive picture of the challenges we face in order to achieve this goal."
Mr. Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region
"I was pleased to accept the chairmanship of this independent commission, the work of which will be critical in promoting the sustainability of caribou and the vitality of forest regions. My team and I are going to make sure that we cover all aspects that directly or indirectly affect this species that is iconic to the public, to provide insight and sustainable solutions that will guide the government in drafting its strategy and making decisions."
Ms. Nancy Gélinas, President of the Commission
Director of Communications and
Cabinet du ministre des Forêts,
de la Faune et des Parcs et
ministre responsable de la région de
l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue et de la
région du Nord-du-Québec
Telephone: 514 231-2251
Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune
et des Parcs
Telephone: 418 521-3875
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