The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is Canada’s pre-eminent, national community-based voice for public wilderness protection. The Ottawa Valley Chapter of CPAWS (CPAWS-OV) works to protect public lands in the National Capital Region and surrounding areas. Established in 1970 when a group of concerned citizens learned about major development plans for Gatineau Park, the Chapter has since become involved in many issues of wilderness protection in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec.

What we do

Our mission is to protect the biodiversity of the Ottawa Valley and surrounding areas through legislation and public education. CPAWS-OV has a number of active campaigns in the National Capital Region; each has a designated committee that works with local, provincial, and federal government officials (as necessary), industry, and other environmental groups to find solutions to conservation issues and provide input for government plans for local public land. We strongly encourage members of the public to become actively engaged in these campaigns by signing our petitions, writing to their government representatives, and learning about the existing and potential threats to beloved and critical natural areas in the region.

A key focus of CPAWS-OV’s work is the Algonquin to Adirondacks Conservation Initiative, a program to maintain and restore interconnected habitat for wildlife across the landscape from Algonquin Park (Ontario) to Adirondack Park (New York State). This work has recently been incorporated within a broader CPAWS National campaign, called Eastern Woodlands, which seeks to maintain wilderness in the Algonquin-Adirondacks-northern Appalachians region.

In Quebec, CPAWS-OV is working towards the creation of a large protected area in the Dumoine River watershed. The Dumoine River is the only undammed river in southwestern Quebec, and is a critical link between the Boreal forest and the Algonquin to Adirondacks region. The Dumoine campaign is part of a broader Chapter initiative to establish significant protected areas and to maintain biological diversity across the Ottawa River watershed in Quebec. In addition, nearly four decades after the Chapter was founded, we are still concerned about the ecological integrity of Gatineau Park and are working to protect it from the growing pressures that threaten the viability of its fragile ecosystems.

How you can help

You can make a donation to support our work and volunteer to help us with public outreach or get involved with a specific campaign. Join us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about our campaign progress and current activities.