11.3 ha protected for generations to come!
Nearly four years to the day the project was launched, the Alton E. Peck Nature Reserve was published in the Quebec Official Gazette on September 3rd, 2014. “It was long and laborious given that there were 11 property owners that wanted to choose something other than a commercial sale of the land” explained Guy Lizotte, conservation consultant with Appalachian Corridor. “They called Appalachian Corridor to accompany them in their quest for a perpetual protection of the property”.
“We were seeing lots of development and our fear that the next generation may not share our values was our impetus to protect the land” said Andrew Tosh, President of Alton E. Peck Park Inc. “We are pleased with the outcome and we wouldn’t have been able to make it happen without Appalachian Corridor”.
Located in Saint-Denis-de-Brompton, the Alton E. Peck Nature Reserve is almost entirely forested. The presence of Peck Road across the property could have facilitated the building of new homes. Given the proximity to Petit-Brompton Lake, the pressure to develop secondary or permanent residences on this land was undeniable and could have affected its natural habitats.
Original owner Alton Edward Peck, who died in 1969, bequeathed the 11.3 ha of land to his wife Mabel G. Frost, who quickly found herself surrounded by development promoters. She turned to the summer home owners on the property and formed an organization that would protect the property for the generations to come. The Alton E. Peck Park Inc. Group is now comprised of the 2nd generation
of shareholders, the majority being the children of the original home owners.
The reserve is located close to the eastern shore of Petit-Brompton Lake and the stream found on the property flows into the lake. The property boasts several small wetlands and the conservation of these and the stream’s natural state is particularly important for the quality of the watershed and that of the aquatic habitat. The Snapping Turtle, a species listed in Canada as being of Special Concern, has even been observed not far from the lake, and the protection of the Alton E. Pack nature reserve now safeguards parts of this reptile’s home range.
The protection of the Alton E. Peck property will also help to maintain habitats surrounding a nearby occurrence of the Green Mountain Maidenhair Fern, a species at risk in Quebec. In addition, the reserve is part of natural corridor identified by Appalachian Corridor as a connection between two large forest blocks. The successful conclusion this conservation project could inspire other landowners in this key area, thus contributing to maintain populations of species representative of the region.
In concert with local conservation objectives, the protection of the Alton E. Peck property will contribute to the consolidation of gains in terms of protected natural habitats in the Val-St-Francois region. Regionally, the protected property will be inte- grated into the Appalachian Corridor conservation strategy, that vies to preserve the rare little or non-fragmented forestry cores of more than 11,500 ha in the south of Quebec. This strategy also aims to maintain the population of viable species and communities as well as the natural processes that support them. This strategy is based on the ecological analysis of the landscape and the identification of conservation « cores » that link them together and therefore ensures connectivity between these zones. Provincially, the nature reserve will allow an appreciable increase in protected zones on private lands within southern Quebec, one of the key issues of the Quebec government’s strategy on protected areas.
Conservation Consultant Guy Lizotte and the president of Alton E. Peck Park Inc., Andrew Tosh, at the signing of the important documents.
The Green Mountain Maidenhair Fern is a species at risk in Quebec.
The Snapping Turtle needs to be protected in the Appalachian Corridor.