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La Mauricie National Park Outlines New Management Plan

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La Mauricie National Park’s (Quebec, Canada) new management plan outlines four key points to guide the park in ten to 15 years.

As per a report, the first strategy is protecting Quebec’s natural heritage and working for its restoration. The park’s staff will carry on the restoration of ecosystems, develop restoration plans for species that are at risk, and develop instruments to assess the effects of climate change and adopt sustainable, environmentally-friendly methods.

The second strategy is designed to safeguard traces of the past through storytelling, especially with First Nations partners.

Strategy three is designed to provide diverse experiences in all seasons in a unique natural and cultural setting. The park will offer more inclusive and accessible activities, better promotion of fall and winter trips, and a look at how visitors without vehicles can enjoy the park.

Finally, La Mauricie aims to be accessible and well-integrated into the regional community. It’s situated between Quebec City and Montreal, accessible all year round, and draws more than 200,000 visitors annually.

“National parks are some of Canada’s crown jewels,” Francois-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice–Champlain, said in a news release. “They represent the power and history of our natural environments, and La Mauricie National Park is no exception.”

Reviewed every ten years, management plans are required under the Canada National Parks Act and provide direction for managing national parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas.

La Mauricie’s plan was created after consultation with Indigenous communities and other stakeholders, including residents and guests who have visited in the past and present.

Genevieve Caron, the Parks Canada supervisor for the Mauricie and Western Quebec Field Unit, said that her staff looks to the future of continuing the protection and enhancement of the regional icon for current and future generations.

Established in 1970, La Mauricie is 536 square kilometers (207 square miles) which is about the size of Montreal. It has 150 lakes and rivers, and forests cover 93% of its land.

Before the park was established, the region endured an intense period of commercial logging during the mid-19th century.

The land was divided into forest concessions to harvest trees for sawing. The rivers and lakes were created through dredging and the construction of dams and slides to transport the wood. The end of the 19th century ushered in a new era of logging for pulp and paper production.

“Logging has significantly altered the regional landscape,” the management plan notes, “and its impact on the park’s forest, wetland, and aquatic ecosystems are still felt today.”

The Parks Canada Conservation and Restoration Program—which is responsible for executing initiatives to restore forests and aquatic ecosystems—is an integral part of the organization’s mission to safeguard and improve La Mauricie’s natural heritage through returning the land to its original condition after nearly 150 years of forest operations and harvesting of wildlife.

A 63-kilometer (40-mile) parkway with multiple observation points runs across the entire park. Visitors can stay in three well-equipped campgrounds and two heritage lodges or traditional backcountry accommodations. There are many hiking and biking trails, cross-country ski/snowshoe trails, and canoe paths.

La Mauricie is home to numerous species of risk, such as the wood turtle, eastern wolf, and several species of bats.

This story first appeared on National Parks Traveler.

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