Groulx - Uapishka Mountains

Located east of the Manicouagan crater, the area of Groulx - Uapishka Mountains– meaning « white mountains » in innu-aimun – is a real jewel of our natural heritage!

Peaking at more than 800 meters, the peaks of Groulx Mountains - Uapishka host arctic-alpine plant particularly fragile. In addition, the highland has many exceptional forest ecosystems and serves as a habitat for several species in a precarious situation, such as the woodland caribou, the royal eagle, bald eagle, the rock vole or the least weasel.

These grandiose landscapes attract visitors coming for hiking, wilderness skiing and dog-sledding excursions. SNAP Québec participated to many editions of the Corvée annuelle organised by les Amis des Monts Groulx, allowing many citizens to discover this exceptional place.

One of our rare permanently protected area…

Especially, since 2003, SNAP Québec was supporting the protection of this area. Back then, the mining industry was menacing dangerously the highland of Groulx Mountains, but the engagement of numerous groups and citizens allowed obtaining the permanent protection of the highland.

Read the memoir presented in 2003 at the BAPE (available only in French)

With an area of 1382 km2, the Uapishka biodiversity reserve is one of the rare protected areas of Quebec to receive the permanent protected area status (there are 5 biodiversity reserves on 85 «planned»). But, as mentioned by the BAPE in 2013, it is this permanent status that allows having a management based truly on conservation.

… with the ecological integrity still to be monitored!

Unfortunately, despite this status of permanent protection, the Groulx-Uapishka Mountains are not completely protected from the impacts of harmful human activities.

In fact, since a couple of years, snowmobiling in the mounts area (>800 meters), even if there are prohibited according to the conservation plan of the protected area, are compromising the ecological integrity of the biodiversity reserve of Uapishka.

The management committee of the biodiversity reserve Uapishka, animated by the Manicouagan-Uapishka biosphere reserve, put in place in 2016 an issue table on snowmobiling in the area with the users and the regional participants. SNAP Québec, a participant, is in favor of this dialogue and want to recognize the openmindness of the discussions held so far.

Québec must find a way to manage properly its protected areas!

With this said, the question of snowmobiling in the Uapishka biodiversity reserve rises the broader issue of monitoring our protected areas.

With a ridiculously low budget of the MDDELCC (approximatively 0.2% of the annual budget of Québec), and the abolition of hundreds of jobs at the MFFP in 2014 – especially wildlife protection officer – it is, in fact, very difficult to monitor efficiently protected territories and to ensure the respect of the conservation measures.

Yet, with less than 10% of our territory protected, and Quebec is far behind to achieve the international objectives of conservation, it is now more important to ensure that our few protected areas are efficient to conserve the biodiversity.

As we recommended in our recent Nagoya+ report, published with Nature Québec, it is urgent that Québec raises the funds necessary to protect our natural heritage and to achieve the international objectives it agreed!