Canton de Hatley, June 9, 2021Massawippi Conservation Trust (MCT) is pleased to announce the acquisition of a new property to be protected in perpetuity in the Massawippi valley. The project is the fruit of a threeyear collaboration with three siblings, who fulfilled their parents’ conservation dream by selling their forested and ecologically rich 154 hectares (390 acres) to the MCT in August of 2019.

The Massawippi Foundation and the Massawippi Conservation Trust are two charitable organizations that are respectively responsible for the funding and management of large, protected areas in the watershed of the Massawippi valley.

“After several years of negotiations with the Eberts family, the Trust was able to acquire the second largest parcel of land under our stewardship,” explains Margot Heyerhoff, President of the Fondation Massawippi Foundation (FMF). The addition of this property will enable us to preserve these pristine forests and ecologically important marshlands. The Foundation (FMF) and Trust (MCT) will also be building a new trail network on the sector which will be appreciated by the users of our trail system. We thank thefamily for their visionary collaboration,” she adds.

Alongtime resident of the region and a lover of nature,Jake Eberts was a Canadian Oscarwinning film producer, executive, and financier who purchased the land in 1990.

“Our family roots in this area began with our grandparents, Toppy and Ted Eberts, who purchased a farmhouse on a small plot of land in the town of Katevale (now SainteCatherinedeHatley) in 1966,” tell the three Ebert children, Alexander, David,and Lindsay. “Our father, Jake, fell in love with the property and bought it from his parents in 1990, and inspired by his time spent in nature as a young boy, continued to add land around the original farmhouse in order toprotect it and enhance its natural state.”

In 2011, Mr. Eberts became one of the founding trustees of the FMF and began considering the possibility of one day perpetually protecting his land. However, he became ill shortly thereafter, passing away in 2012. Conversations to perpetually protect the land continued with his widow, Fiona Eberts, until her unexpected death in 2014. Their three children recently decided to complete their parents’ conservation aspirations for the land through an arrangement with the MCT which includes the partsale of the land combined with a part donation of 3.25 hectares (8 acres).

“It is with great pleasure that our family was able to complete a longheld dream of our late parents, Jake and Fiona,to transfer a part of our muchbeloved family land to the Massawippi Conservation Trust to be protected and appreciated by future generations. Our family would like to acknowledge our contribution to the land,and we recognize and deeply appreciate the Abenaki historic connection to this place,add the children.


Named “Property # 9” by the MCT, the newly acquired land is home to several varieties of amphibians, birds, and vegetation of interest, all of which will benefit from the protection and conservation of the territory.

As part of their ecological assessment, Appalachian Corridor biologists found streams that provide quality habitat for two species of salamander that are in a precarious status, the Northern Dusky Salamander and the Spring Salamander. The Northern Dusky Salamander is likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable in Quebec while the Spring salamander is already designated as vulnerable.

With respect to vegetation communities found on the property,there are mainly deciduous woodlands, particularly sugar maple stands, as well as several species vulnerable to harvesting, such as Northern Maidenhair Fern, Twoleaved Toothwort and Ostrich Fern. The land is also home to the Butternut, which is likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable in Quebec and endangered in Canada, and the Appalachian Sedge which is a rare species.

In terms of bird species, the property’s large interior forests are deemed critical to maintaining populations of forest birds such as the Eastern WoodPewee, a species designated as of special concern in Canada.

“The moment our biologists set foot on the property, we recognized the great ecological richness of this environment for its many species and its tremendous relevance in improving the water quality of Lake Massawippi,” explains Mélanie Lelièvre, Executive Director for Appalachian Corridor. “At a regional scale, the protection of the Eberts land supports our efforts to create a wide natural ecological corridor enabling wildlife movements in the landscape and adapting to changes in their movements caused by climate change. We are grateful for the efforts led by MCT and salute the family’s commitment to honoring their parents’ legacy. It is an honour to be involved in this project and to have contributed to its realization,” she adds.

With this recent acquisition, the MCT increases the protected land under its stewardship to close to 485 hectares (1,200 acres) in the Massawippi watershed area where it has been working actively for the past ten years to conserve land in perpetuity adjacent to Lake Massawippi.Appalachian Corridor brings the privately held protected land on its territory of action to 15 062 hectares (37 219 acres). The MCT has been an affiliate member of Appalachian Corridor since 2011.


This project was made possible by generous private donations collected by the Massawippi Foundation and the Massawippi Conservation Trust(MCT). The Government of Quebec also provided support through the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Project Together for Nature (PEPN), to which the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change has provided $15 million in financial assistance.

The protection of natural areas, particularly those located on private lands in southern Quebec,help to enhance Quebec’s network of protected areas and also help to ensure the survival of many species at risk,” tells Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region. In fact, some of these species were found on the territory part of this conservation project. I am proud to have helped to preserve the habitats for these species and to contribute to their survival thanks to the funding allocated to the Massawippi Trust, the Massawippi Foundation and Appalachian Corridor. Congratulations to the organizations involved in this wonderful project,he concludes.

Appalachian Corridor received government funding which was provided by this program to grant MCT complimentary technical expertise for the ecological assessment process for the realisation of this project.


The Massawippi Conservation Trust (MCT) is a registered charitable land trust founded in 2011 whose purpose is to conserve the natural state of the land adjacent to Lake Massawippi and its tributaries and to provide stewardship services for that land in perpetuity. The primary source of funds for the MCT comes via the Fondation Massawippi Foundation (FMF). The MCT protects land by acquisition through purchase or donation; establishing easements or servitudes on land; helping landowners understand the ecological and tax benefits of limiting the types of activities permitted on their land; helping landowners understand the potentially disastrous effect of overdevelopment on the overall wellbeing of the Massawippi watershed.


Appalachian Corridor Appalachian Corridor is a nonprofit conservation organization founded in 2002 with a mission to protect natural areas in the Appalachian region of Southern Québec. Through the implementation of a crossborder conservation strategy, Appalachian Corridor works with local communities to maintain and restore a way of life that respects the ecology of the region from a perspective of sustainable development. To date, Appalachian Corridor and its 17 members have allowed the perpetual protection of 15,062hectares on our territory of action.


Projet Ensemble pour la nature (PEPN) is a $ 15 million, threeyear grant to NCC from Quebec’s ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. It aims to establish financial partnerships and scientific research to ensure the conservation and protection of natural habitats on private lands in Quebec by March 31, 2020. It tends to create solidarity with respect to protected areas by encouraging the Quebec community to take action to preserve the environment

Not too far away from the Massawippi Trail in Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley is another jewel of a place for bird watchers and for people who enjoy nature. The Ile du Marais site includes an island and marshland and is now a privately owned conservation property.
The wetlands were formed around 1910 when a new dam was built. The marsh and the island have a surface area of nearly 150 hectares. The land trust “Île du Marais Inc”, was founded in 1984 and it is a non-profit organization that protects the island, the trail leading to it and part of the marsh. It is a private property, but like the Massawippi Conservation Trust’s properties, some areas are open to the public. Four kilometres of trails run through the site and give visitors privileged access to the heart of this ecosystem.
Fortunately, despite its private nature, the people who created the trust, as well as all those who have been involved on a volunteer basis ever since, are committed to keeping it open to the public. Their mission is to preserve the natural environment of Lake Magog, particularly its wetlands.
The fauna and flora are abundant on Île du Marais. More than 190 species of birds have been observed there! Many species of plants, amphibians and reptiles are also present here.
The Fondation Massawippi Foundation gave its very first grant ($15,000.) to the Ile du Marais Inc. in 2011 to help them raise the funds necessary to rebuild their boardwalk. When Claude Goulet, President and Marc Hurtubise, board member, met with the author, they laughed as they told the story of this large and unexpected gift. It helped them to kick-off the campaign to raise enough money to rebuild the aging boardwalk.
Imagine the hundreds of thousands of birds that have nested and used the land over the years. We are lucky to have this conservation group protecting their habitat ensuring that the birds will continue to roost and profit from this safe environment. The site is recognized as one of the most exceptional heritage nature sites in the region.

To learn more, please visit their website
To go directly to their list of birds seen on their property listed in French.

Barred Owl: photo taken by Mahicans Diamond on the Massawippi Conservation Trust’s land.

Whether you live in the city or the countryside, birds are a part of our daily lives. They are the number one wild animal we encounter almost daily and are an early indicator of the health of the planet.
We may not even think of birds as wild animals as they are so woven into our lives. Birds are part of our common expressions: like a duck to water; take flight; the early bird catches the worm; free as a bird; an albatross around the neck; dead as a dodo; graceful as a swan; as scarce as hen’s teeth; canary in a coal mine.
Birding (or bird watching) brings us into nature, whether it is in our backyard or out at a designated observation site. Birders spend on average 133 days per year in pursuit of their passion. Gardeners, on the other hand, spend approximately 70 days per year.1 It is one of the fastest growing hobbies and the pandemic has only helped the numbers soar. One in five Canadians are enjoying this activity.
Birding took off in the late 19th century.
So much has been written about birds, birding and our relationship to each other. Did you know that there is a very interesting link between women, environmental and labour history and birds and conservation? Birds were so numerous back then that their numbers seemed inexhaustible. Billions of Passenger Pigeons and shore birds were served at the table. Victorian women, who were relatively limited in their power, published their bird observations in diaries and magazines. The growth of bird watching and botanizing promoted a new awareness and appreciation for our winged friends.
The fashion industry decimated ducks, herons and egrets for the vogue of plumed hats. An egret feather taken from the head of the bird cost more than gold. In 1896 the Massachusetts Audubon Society was established by Harriet Hemenway and Minna B. Hall. They helped to turn the tide by creating a better public awareness of birds.2,3

The decline in the bird population continued at a fast pace until the Passenger Pigeon became extinct in c 1914 and other birds became more rare. Around this time a conservation movement was born (should we say hatched?). The first international wildlife treaty was signed in August 1916 called the Canadian-United States Migratory Birds Convention. Soon after came the Canadian Migratory Birds Convention Act.4 The American Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 followed and is still today the strongest legislation for the protection of birds in the United States. Since birds migrate from Northern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico this cross border collaboration was essential to their survival.

Birding can be quite simple.
You can do it in your backyard or at the park using your naked eyes to observe. A pair of binoculars can be a great help. The ABC’s of birding start with looking for birds and observing their movements by locking your eyes onto them. Identifying the birds takes a bit of practise. You look at the bird’s size, shape, colour, observe its behaviour, song and habitat. These are the main factors which help you to identify a bird. You can learn about the main bird groups: waterfowl sauvagine (Mallard Duck) colvert ; hawks and falcons (American Kestrel) crécerelle d’Amérique; shorebirds (Sandpiper) and gulls (Ring-billed Gull); and perching birds (Black Capped Chickadee) and tree clinging birds (Woodpecker). Choose a field guide in book form or with an APP to identify the bird by name.
The Audubon SocietyeBird Canada and Merlin Bird ID are all good APP’s with easy to use identification tools which can be tailored to your region. Quebec has close to 400 varieties of birds and identifying them can be a fun challenge.
Another way to learn is to join a friend or a birding group. Locally we have the Société de loisir ornithologique de l’Estrie (SLOE) brings together people interested in bird watching in their natural environment and ensures the development and practice of birding in the Eastern Townships. You can become a member for $20 per year and join them for virtual and physical activities. They will be birding on May 15th in Scowen Park. One of their members, Bernard Jolicoeur, hosted a very informative radio series in French on Radio Canada, the links to which are on the SLOE website.
April and May are wonderful months to observe birds. Spring is signaled by the arrival of the American Robin and other birds whose songs fill the air. You can learn to identify their calls by using the APPs mentioned earlier.
The GrandDéfi Québec Oiseaux5 takes place throughout the month of May. Inaugurated in 2011, the Grand Défi QuébecOiseaux aims to raise awareness and funds for the protection of birds in Quebec. The event takes the form of a 24-hour birding marathon during which participants must observe as many species of birds as possible from a fixed point or on the move, on any day in May.
Saturday May 8th is World Migratory Day. You can host an event via website in conjunction with Nature Canada, QuébecOiseaux and Environment for the Americas. Their call to action:

Sing, Fly, Soar – Like A Bird is the theme of World Migratory Bird Day 2021. As birds return back to our neighbourhoods, we urge you to wonder and appreciate where they’ve come from, how far they’ve travelled, and the community conservation efforts worldwide dedicated to protecting their habitats so they can make this journey each year.
We urge you to participate in our Discover Migratory Birds activities and download resources to help you uncover, cultivate, and celebrate your inner birder.6

Do you need more inspiration to become a birder or if you enjoy inspirational nature photography the Audubon Society has a list of interesting birders on Instagram.

State of Canada’s Birds was published in 2019 by the National American Birds Conservation Initiative. It is an easy to read report which is well worth taking your time to do so.
‘’The North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI) in Canada is a coalition of federal, territorial and provincial governments, non-government and industry organizations, working in partnership with the United States and Mexico to protect, restore, and enhance North American bird species and their habitats. NABCI-Canada’s goal is to deliver the full spectrum of bird conservation in Canada, through regionally-based, biologically-driven, landscape-oriented partnerships.’’7

The press release for the publication said:
Several bird groups have experienced significant declines. Canada has lost 40% to 60% of shorebird, grassland bird and aerial insectivore populations. These groups make up 80% of all bird species that were newly assessed as threatened or endangered in Canada over the last decade. The loss of important lands and waters, unsustainable agricultural practices, climate change and pollution are the most important causes of these declines. These threats affect birds on their Canadian breeding grounds, during their migration and on their wintering grounds, highlighting the need for strong international conservation action.
Over the same period, other species have benefited from investments in conservation by government, non-government and industry organizations. Geese and duck populations have increased by 360% and 150%, respectively, since 1970. Some goose species have also taken advantage of increased waste grain in agricultural areas and are now so abundant that there is concern about the potential impacts of these birds on other species. Populations of birds of prey have increased by 110% thanks to the ban on the indiscriminate use of DDT. When we understand the problem and take action together, conservation works.”8

One in three Canadian birds depends on forests. The Massawippi Conservation Trust hopes to ensure the survival and protection of bird life on our territory by protecting pristine forests and the watershed of Lake Massawippi. In one day alone, the biologists from Appalachian Corridor identified almost 30 different species among those spotted during a one day inventory.  Five priority species were seen that are of particular interest due to diminishing populations in the province and beyond. They are the white-throated Sparrow, the black- throated Green Warbler, the black-throated Blue Warbler, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and the Eastern Wood Pewee. These would most likely be seen along the entire ridge.

What can we as individuals do to help birds survive and thrive?

  1. Learn about birds
  2. Buy Bird-Friendly
  3. Support conservation
  4. Keep cats indoors
  5. Welcome birds home by planting native vegetation
  6. Prevent collisions
  7. Build Nesting Boxes

Learn more, the sky’s the limit!

You don’t need to go far to find talented birding photographers. A neighbour has a bird feeder in his backyard and often posts the most captivating photos of local birds.
Here are some of Marc Théberge’s images.

Eastern Towhee (Tohi à flancs roux) © Marc Théberge

Female Cardinal (Cardinal, femelle) © Marc Théberge

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Pic maculé) © Linda Huffman

Yellow Bellied Flycatcher (Moucherolle à ventre jaune) © Marc Théberge



1. The “Bird Bills”: A Tale of the Plume Boom

2.The Victorian Women Whose Writing Popularized Watching Birds Instead of Wearing Them

3. Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments of Canada. 2014. 2012 Canadian Nature Survey: Awareness, participation, and expenditures in nature-based recreation, conservation, and subsistence activities. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers.
5. Grand Défi QuébecOiseaux
6. Nature Canada
7. State of Canada’s Birds
8. Presse release

Other sources:
Birding hobby soars in popularity across North American

Taking birds under our wings for 100 years
Podcast : « Ornithologie :  l’ABC pour s’initier au monde des oiseaux »

Dear Visitors to our trail in Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley,

We have been working with neighbours, the municipality and trail users since last autumn to help everyone with the parking issues on Côte du Piémont.

A benefactor paid the first surprise parking tickets issued on February 14th.  Mr. Bob Gingras generously opened a field for overflow parking. The municipality changed the parking by-law for us to benefit visitors to our trail.

This spring we thought that we had finally found a solution that would satisfy everyone.  Parking is now permitted on the right side of the road (looking down the road from the trail entrance) all the way down Côte du Piémont to chemin Gingras starting BELOW rue de la Pénéplaine.  This will be permitted all year long – yes winter and summer!

Even though the municipality has created new signs showing very clearly where one may park we had a situation on Saturday (April 24th) where some cars continued to park above Pénéplaine and partially or totally block neighbours’ driveways.  This is inexcusable and a case where we totally support the neighbours and their frustration and we will support them if they call the police and we will support the towing or ticketing of vehicles who park in these areas.

This is a clear case of a few people ignoring the rules with the effect that it might affect everyone who wishes to park on Côte du Piémont.  We cannot afford to lose what we have gained.

We are asking all trail visitors to please follow the new protocol – park only on the side permitted and park ONLY BELOW rue de la Pénéplaine if our parking lot is full.  If you see someone parking otherwise, please speak to them.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of making this new arrangement successful so we need everyone’s help.

Thank you.

Margot Heyerhoff


Fondation Massawippi Foundation

Matthew Cleary came to Canada from California. He had been working in national and state parks in the USA and moved here with his skills and his Québecoise wife in 2008 to raise their family. Our trail director, Mahicans Diamond, met Matthew in the region and soon they became good friends through their shared experiences.
Mahicans called Matthew to team up with him and build the trails at Scowen Park in North Hatley. Together they have been working on the Massawippi trails since the Trust first started to build them six years ago.
Everyone, without exception, that I have met has enjoyed their walking experience and many have said they are the best trails they have ever used. Known for their natural, easy going surfaces that blend into the environment, the Trail has been “discovered” during the pandemic as one of the best kept secrets. Some people want to keep it a secret, but not Matthew. When asked what he wanted to see in ten, twenty or thirty years, he replied, ‘’ I hope our network of trails will become widely known and that people come to use and enjoy them. It is good for their health and for others to see people walking, knowing they are not alone in this endeavor to enjoy the woods. It is good for the health of a community.’’

Our network reflect the personality of the trail builders. When I first met Matthew, I was struck by his kindness and generosity of spirit. As the Massawippi Trail foreman he is responsible to bring Mahicans’ dreams to life. He is practical man, a teacher, someone who studies the forest, it’s natural and human history. He notes the way people have left their imprint on the land. Smiling, he tells the story of cleaning Ethan’s beach and finding the history of Quebec beer through the bottles and cans people had left in the woods. An anthropologist perhaps, but first and foremost a trail builder who wants to build paths through the forest that respect the environment as well as creating a safe, friendly space for people to benefit from the woodlands.
Matthew is part of a team of three professional trail builders. Each summer, students are hired to be trained and work alongside the professionals. Matthew is their teacher and guide. I think it is a testament to the quality of their experience that the students often return for a second and third year. He loves their enthusiasm and desire to learn new skills building the trails. It is one of his favorite aspects of the job.
In the Spring, Mahicans and Matthew study the terrain and lay out a plan for each section they plan to build that year. Depending on the year, they build between two and three kilometers of trail. The Massawippi  Conservation Trust who owns the land and is responsible for its conservation has a goal of building up to 25 kilometers of trails in all.
The Trails is mostly built by hand. Occasionally some equipment is brought in for a particular section or piece of work but generally the builders use human power and ingenuity such as ropes and pulleys to haul logs and rocks. 90% of the materials used are from the surrounding forest. Matthew says not only does this save money but it is also means they are not introducing any foreign substances that might alter the biodiversity.
He speaks respectfully about cutting trees to be used on the stairs and other infrastructure. “If you remove one tree from a spot, it means more light, more water for the smaller trees who can then grow faster.”  He selects trees which are tall and straight (less waste) and those that are close to other trees. Or he chooses those that are in danger of falling down. “I hate to cut a tree but I don’t feel guilty because we are not removing anything from the system.”
Rocks, carefully selected from the forest, help people cross streams and line the edges of the trails to prevent erosion. Steps are built of logs, whose bark is removed and that are flattened on top to create a natural spot to place your foot. The trails follow the contours of the land. The person walking is considered, adding steps where the incline might be too steep to climb or a rock bridge to help them hop across a gully.
Margot Heyerhoff, President of the Massawippi Foundation which is the funding arm of the Massawippi Conservation Trust added this comment:
”From our earliest days, our Board decided it wanted to put ecologically sensitive trails into our protected properties.  We felt that it was not enough to just admire this conserved mountain from driving along Route 143 on the other side of the lake.  We wanted people to be able to experience what had been conserved by being inside this amazing forest. Matthew is helping make our dreams a reality.”
The trail network is almost complete on Wardman sector. This summer Matthew and the team will finish the loop on the Wippi North trail and then move onto a whole new section of the property.
No longer a secret, I think Matthew is pleased to know that the result of the hard work of the team has paid off and has helped so many find a healthier balance in life by walking here during the past difficult year.
I look forward to walking under the green canopy very soon and hope to run into Matthew and the trail builders who will be back at work in May.  If you see them, please stop and say hello.

So much has been written on this topic it is hard to know where to begin. Let us start by the definition and what forest bathing is NOT.
As you can surmise from the name Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term which was coined in 1982 by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to describe humans making contact with nature or bathing in the forest atmosphere, in order to reduce stress and to connect with the natural healing properties of nature. Strictly speaking immersing your senses in the forest, Shinrin means forest and yoku means bathing.
The mid to late 1980’s in Japan was a time of economic boom and high stress in an overworked population where an average work week of 60 hours was not unusual. The alarm bell sounded as more and more people became sick or died from over work and stress. They were living the first urban stress epidemic in the world. The Japanese health authorities didn’t know what to do so they began to look at research about nature and its health benefits and from this developed a practice called Shinrin-yoku.

Forest bathing is not hiking. In fact you may only walk 500 meters or less while practicing. You can do it on your own or with a group. It is advised to start with a guide who can teach you to understand what it is to connect with nature and how to use your senses to find the active ingredients in nature.
The effects of stress, burnout and other widely felt health problems have been increasing and hit a new proportion as a result of the pandemic. The Massawippi Conservation Trust saw a huge increase in the number of people who sought out the Massawippi Trail as a means to relieve their stress.
Forest Bathing can be a de-stressor. The practice encourages connecting to nature through our senses. Leaving your phone, schedule and fitness regimen behind you can restore your health and begin to recover from both physiological stress and cognitive stress.
There are many research papers and books about the topic. Dr. Qing Li is a recognized leader in forest medicine. He is medical doctor at Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School and is a founding member and chairman of the Japanese Society for Forest Medicine, a leading member of the Task Force of Forests and Human Health, and the vice president and secretary general of the International Society of Nature and Forest Medicine.

You might want to start your research by reading his book published in 2018:
FOREST BATHING: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness

As quoted from La Presse1 and reprinted here in translation:
For Dr Qing Li, author of the book Shinrin-Yoku, the art and science of forest bathing, it is therefore necessary for city dwellers to be able to recharge their batteries by going for a walk in nature. He advises spending at least two hours in the forest (20 minutes would already be beneficial) walking, aimlessly, without a smartphone, enjoying the trees, their natural smells and essences, their colours, the birdsong, the soothing landscape and the sounds of nature. It’s not about jogging or exercise, “but simply being in touch with nature, soaking up the forest through our five senses and reconnecting with it,” says Dr Qing Li.
In this book, Dr Qing Li, an immunologist at the Department of Hygiene and Public Health at Tokyo Medical University, shares his research on the links between forests and health. Since 2003, research has shown that forest bathing can strengthen the immune system, reduce anxiety, depression and anger, give energy, reduce blood pressure and stress, and promote relaxation,” he says. Forest bathing also improves concentration and memory, cardiovascular function and metabolism, lowers blood sugar levels and increases protein production against cancer. “

Below is a brief list to Forest Bathing papers, articles and websites to help you discover more about Forest Bathing.
[Effect of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) on human health: A review of the literature]
The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan.

1  Lévy, Olivia (May 26, 2018). « La forêt contre le stress ». Dans La Presse, Montréal.

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March Newsletter

The Massawippi Conservation Trust  (MCT) has been considerably active over the past few years for the protection of the natural environments of its territory, and more particularly within the conservation core identified on the western shore of Lake Massawippi. Out of a natural habitat core covering 1,200 hectares, 36.7% of the natural environments are protected in perpetuity thanks to the work of the MCT. This is remarkable!

To achieve these important ecological gains, MCT has been working for over ten years in concert with Appalachian Corridor. From its offices in Eastman, the multidisciplinary team of professionals offers its 17 affiliated members a range of services for the implementation of conservation actions in its territory of action, which extends from Granby to Sherbrooke and south to the Canada-U.S. border. Over the past 18 years, Appalachian Corridor and its partners have protected 14,619 hectares of our rich and precious regional territory!

Among other things, when the MCT wishes to acquire a piece of land for conservation purposes in perpetuity, the Appalachian Corridor team is active in supporting the project by conducting an assessment of the ecological value of the area.

During its visits, the Appalachian Corridor knowledge acquisition team seeks to obtain a complete picture of the property’s biodiversity and sensitive environments. This is why it travels throughout the territory in search of species in a precarious situation, including birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and flora. Wetlands, areas with steep slopes, watercourses and mature stands are sensitive areas where the greatest biodiversity and sensitive species are often found. Biologists always keep their eyes and ears open so as not to miss anything.

Old maple groves are among the important targets to be evaluated on the land, especially those that are less accessible because they have usually suffered less disturbance and have more integrity. These maple groves are often rich and shelter a beautiful diversity of species, particularly plant species, some of which are in a precarious situation, such as wild garlic, which is only found in this type of habitat. The red oak stands present in this core habitat are another ecological element of interest in this sector since this type of forest stand is quite rare in our region. These stands are now only found on a few mountain peaks or slopes.

Streams are also one of the biologists’ favorite targets, particularly within the FCM’s core habitat because they are mountain streams where clear, cold and well-oxygenated water flows towards Lake Massawippi. These streams are home to several wildlife species, including amphibians that are very sensitive to the quality of the water and their environment – the northern dusky salamander and the purple salamander. The northern dusky salamander is likely to be designated threatened or vulnerable in Quebec, while the purple salamander is designated vulnerable.
The protection of streams and riparian zones are very important for these species, in addition to being essential to maintaining water quality in Lake Massawippi. It is probably due to the presence of these streams within the core habitat that a population of lake trout, also known as Gray Trout , is maintained in Lake Massawippi since this fish requires a habitat that has cold, clear, well-oxygenated water and where the pH is higher than 5.4.

Clément Robidoux, Conservation Director and Victor Grivegnée-Dumoulin, Biologist, Knowledge Acquisition Coordinator