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Nature Conservancy of Canada launches campaign to expand the Green Mountains Nature Reserve $200,000 needed to cross the finish line!

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--January 27, 2016.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Quebec ha a new major project. It has launched a public campaign to try and purchase more than three square kilometres in the Sutton area of the Green Mountains.

This property, adjacent to the Mount SUTTON ski resort, is the starting point for hikers wishing to enter the Green Mountains Nature Reserve.

The vision is to allow the conservation lands to be used by the public. It will be accessible to hikers at all times and will extend the reserve, which currently covers 70 square kilometres.

“Thanks to many generous donors, NCC has already successfully raised more than $2 million. However, there is a bit of a time crunch and we must raise the remaining $200,000 needed to help secure this property,” said Joël Bonin, director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Québec. “People may contribute online at www.natureconservancy.ca/donate or by calling NCC at 1877 876-5444, ext. 294, and mentioning the Sutton project.”

NCC is purchasing the site from the ski’s resorts new owners and is partnering with other organizations in the effort. Appalachian Corridor, Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton (PENS) and Les Sentiers de l’Estrie (SE) are working jointly with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to raise funds.

Many kilometres of trails
The property is located at the heart of the largest section of unfragmented forest in the Green Mountains range. Covering the Dos d’Orignal and the northwest side of Mount Gagnon, it is accessible to the public via a network of hiking trails maintained by PENS. These attractive and safe trails, which limit impact on the natural environment, will soon be visible on Google Street View, thanks to a recent project involving NCC and Google.

A site to protect
Located in the Eastern Townships, close to Montreal, this site with its incomparable view will remain pristine and free from development. Eighteen streams crossing the property represent an important reserve of crystal clear water, which is key to the survival of spring salamander, an at-risk species. The property is important habitat for large-ranging mammals, such as the moose and the fisher. It also features rich old “old-growth forest,” comparable to that seen by the first colonists in the region!

This key project is the result of a close partnership with Appalachian Corridor, which is conducting a major fundraising campaign. “This is the first conservation project to which Appalachian Corridor is contributing from its major fundraising campaign, and we are very proud of it. We offer our heartfelt thanks to our co-presidents, Mr. Lemaire and Mr. Tessier, to our campaign cabinet, as well as to all the donors who have contributed to the campaign, enabling us to support this acquisition by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. There is no doubt that this project will have a positive impact both on the natural environment and on the local communities,” stated Marie-José Auclair, president of Appalachian Corridor.

NCC wishes to thank PENS, which has for many years ensured that the site remains accessible, while raising awareness with users on the importance of conservation. “We will work even harder to showcase this magnificent area and help our guests appreciate its beauty while respecting the natural environment. We continue to look forward to welcoming them, seven days a week, twelve months a year,” explained Patricia Lefèvre, head of PENS.

“Les Sentiers de l’Estrie are delighted to partner with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and others in the Green Mountains Nature Reserve. The trail network crossing the Sutton mountain range is the oldest in Quebec. It leads many hikers to discover one of the province’s most beautiful landscapes,” states Jean Lacasse, head of Les Sentiers de l’Estrie.

About:
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) owns the Green Mountains Nature Reserve (70 square kilometres) and is Quebec’s and Canada’s leading not-for-profit private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain. Since 1962 NCC has helped to protect more than 2.8 million acres (1.1 million hectares) across the country, including 98,800 acres (40,000 hectares) in Quebec. It is by protecting and managing these natural environments that they can be made accessible to this generation and those to come. To learn more, visit www.natureconservancy.ca.