CPAWS Quebec (SNAP) welcomes the agreement for what could become Quebec’s second largest provincial
Assinica National Park Reserve Press Release For Immediate Release Montreal, May 17, 2011- CPAWS Quebec (SNAP) proudly welcomes the announcement made today of the agreement between the Cree Nation and the Quebec Government to create the Assinica National Park Reserve which could become Quebec’s second largest provincial park. Consequence of the 2002 cooperation agreement between the Cree Nation and the Quebec government (Paix des Braves), today’s agreement to create Assinica National Park Reserve is a result of the close partnership between the Cree Nation, the Cree community of Oujé-Bougoumou, and the Quebec government. Supported by SNAP from its beginnings, the Assinica National Park Reserve project is intended not only to protect the fragile ecosystems from damaging industrial development, but also to ensure the vast and permanent protection of land that holds tremendous cultural value to the Cree Nation. The Assinica National Park reserve is located in the center of one of the last intact boreal forests in Quebec. The agreement will protect a territory of 3193 square kilometers from all industrial activities including tree harvesting and mining. Even if the area currently under interim protection is less than the original project, a mechanism should permit the Crees to propose additions to the protected territory in coming years. The establishment of the park reserve is a key step in ensuring the protection and reestablishment of the woodland caribou; an endangered species that requires large intact areas to roam in for its survival. “The Assinica national park reserve is connected to two other protected area projects around Broadback River and Lake Evans brought forth by the Cree communities in Waswanipi and Nemaska. Combined, these three areas will allow for exceptional and vast areas of protected intact boreal forest” stated Sylvain Archambault, SNAP Quebec, protected areas coordinator. The establishment of Assinica National Park Reserve represents an important step in the Quebec government’s commitment to reserve 50% of the Plan Nord territory (north of 49) for non-industrial purpose.