Campaign Chronicles - Dumoine River
Dumoine River: Critical for the Preservation of Life
The Dumoine River headwaters lie in La Vérendrye wildlife reserve, flowing through the largest area of continuous boreal forest in southern Quebec. Black bear, moose, wolf, beaver, muskrat—these are key players in northern ecology.
Protecting their habitat preserves our lands’ ecological balance.
This river is the last, undammed, wild river in southern Quebec and it flows through undisturbed forest. The waterway and its adjacent lands forms a critical link for wildlife from La Vérendrye reserve, in the north to Algonquin Park, through to the Algonquin-to-Adirondacks corridor, up to the Appalachian Mountains . The Dumoine River drains into the Ottawa River about 200 kilometers upstream from Ottawa/Gatineau.
The Ottawa Valley (OV) chapter of CPAWS is building support to enlarge the protected area around the Dumoine River watershed to about 2/3 of its 4400 square kilometers. CPAWS also wants to ensure that any forestry operations occuring in the remainder of the watershed, are certified and monitored by the Forest Stewardship Council.
In recent months, CPAWS has been meeting with the major stakeholders in the region to gather support for the protected area. Such stakeholders include municipalities in the region, First Nations whose land or hunting areas would be affected, private companies operating in the area and other environmental organizations.
In January and February this year CPAWS met several of the municipalities in the Mattawa and Temiscamingue areas. “Many Pontiac and Western Temiscamingue communities depend heavily on forestry and numerous jobs have been lost in the industry’s downturn. Some municipalities suspect that former levels of employment will never return so they are considering other options like developing eco-tourism. They support the campaign to protect more of the Dumoine watershed in the hopes that it will be a catalyst for new businesses and new residents” explains John McConnell, Executive Director of CPAWS- OV.
This spring CPAWS will meet with additional municipalities, as well as First Nations communities to hear their comments, concerns in order to build stronger consensus. CPAWS representatives have also been meeting with the forestry companies that are active in the area: Commonwealth Plywood, Domtar and Tembec. Stakeholders that will also be consulted, include environmental groups such as Pontiac Environmental Protection and Outaouais Environmental and Sustainable Development Council.
As a result of these meetings, CPAWS will be updating recommendations to the Quebec government regarding protection of the Dumoine River watershed. Detailed maps illustrating the proposed expansion of the areas to be protected are currently being prepared.
The protection of the Dumoine River is a priority for CPAWS and specifically the Ottawa Valley chapter, who has been working hard to protect this last undammed tributary to the Ottawa River.