Saint-éti­enne-de-bolton awarded for the pro­tec­tion of Threat­ened Species

Stanstead Journal - - LENNOXVILLE NEWS - St-eti­enne de Bolton

It is for its ini­tia­tives to­wards pro­tect­ing bio­di­ver­sity on its ter­ri­tory that the small Town­ships mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Saint-Éti­enne-de-Bolton re­ceived a “recog­ni­tion” award from Villes et vil­lages à la rescousse, at the end of last month. Villes et vil­lages à la rescousse is the only event of its kind to high­light the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and en­vi­ron­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions to­wards the pro­tec­tion of threat­ened species. Ap­palachian Cor­ri­dor,

In 2012, Ap­palachian Cor­ri­dor’s team of pro­fes­sion­als was asked by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s Coun­cil to carry out the first phase of a project aim­ing at val­i­dat­ing, char­ac­ter­iz­ing and map­ping the wet­lands lo­cated on its ter­ri­tory. This would al­low Saint-Éti­enne-de-Bolton to use up­dated and pre­cise in­for­ma­tion con­cern­ing the lo­ca­tion of th­ese zones with high eco­log­i­cal value, in or­der to en­sure a bet­ter pro­tec­tion of frag­ile habi­tats and of the species which call them home.

More­over, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has called for a change in its reg­u­la­tion aim­ing to limit the sources of po­ten­tial threats to im­por­tant nat­u­ral ar­eas. This mod­i­fi­ca­tion also fur­thers the pro­tec­tion of an im­por­tant por­tion of frag­ile land.

The tar­geted sec­tor cov­ers a ter­ri­tory of cru­cial eco­log­i­cal im­por­tance lo­cated around Mounts Gau­vin and Fos­ter, which hosts numer­ous head­wa­ter streams. Two threat­ened species, the North­ern Dusky Sala­man­der and Spring Sala­man­der have been found liv­ing in th­ese streams. Con­se­quently, in ad­di­tion to pro­tect­ing the dis­tinc­tive land­scapes of its terri- tory, Saint-Éti­enne-de-Bolton wishes to main­tain the in­tegrity of lo­cal ecosys­tems.

Michèle Tur­cotte, Act­ing Mayor for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, be­lieves that “be­yond our per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, it is the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s duty to pro­tect nat­u­ral ar­eas on its ter­ri­tory; hence our need for know­ing its char­ac­ter­is­tics. This al­lows us to pro­vide a frame for per­mit re­quests that will pre­vent re­gret­table and ir­re­versible mod­i­fi­ca­tions. Sain­tÉ­ti­enne is a gem nes­tled in the moun­tains; we are ready to share it but we want to make sure it will be done in a way that is con­sis­tent with main­tain­ing nat­u­ral her­itage for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. We thank Ap­palachian Cor­ri­dor for their ex­per­tise and guid­ance.”

Mélanie Lelièvre, Ap­palachian Cor­ri­dor Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor adds that “the mu­nic­i­pal­ity has been par­tic­u­larly proac­tive in tak­ing pos­i­tive steps to pro­tect bio­di­ver­sity, frag­ile habi­tats and land­scapes on its terri-

tory. Such ex­am­ples con­firm the com­mu­ni­ties’ de­sire to take re­spon­si­bil­ity and be stew­ards of their nat­u­ral her­itage to en­joy the eco­log­i­cal, eco­nom­i­cal and cul­tural ben­e­fits. Con­grat­u­la­tions to Saint-Éti­enne, and let’s hope that th­ese projects will in­spire oth­ers!”

Villes et vil­lages à la rescousse was ini­ti­ated by Louise Grat­ton, renowned ecol­o­gist, Francine Tré­panier from the wa­ter­shed or­ga­ni­za­tion CARA, Pas­cal Bi­gras from Na­ture-Ac­tion Québec and Pierre M. Vali­quette from the Réseau des mi­lieux naturels pro­tégés du Québec.

Pho­tos courtesy

Re­con­nais­sance Award pre­sented (with lithog­ra­phy by Ghis­lain Caron) to Michèle Tur­cotte and Mélanie Lelièvre, re­spec­tively Act­ing Mayor for Saint-Éti­enne-de-Bolton (left) and Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor for Ap­palachian Cor­ri­dor (right).

Spring Sala­man­der

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