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