Good news is good news. So here’s one: the Montagnes-Vertes nature reserve is expanding by almost 200 hectares thanks to the generosity of landowners and the participation of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and Au Diable Vert mountain station .

This initiative will make it possible to protect these lands, located on the southern slope of Mount Sutton, against subdivision or logging, in addition to securing access to hiking trails.

“We’ve added eight kilometers to our trail network,” said Jeremy Fontana, co-owner of Au Diable Vert. We now have a new connection trail with the Sentiers de l’Estrie, which will allow hikers to make a nice big loop to go through the Three Brothers. »

He argues that the vegetation that characterizes these three peaks resembles that of the alpine zone: the trees there are smaller, the vegetation is different and the views are magnificent.

“The other benefit is that we won’t have to close the trails during hunting season, one of the best times of the year for hiking, and we can protect their access from ATVs,” adds Mr. Fontana.

The Montagnes-Vertes nature reserve belongs to the Nature Conservancy of Canada (CNC), a non-profit organization that specializes in the protection of natural territories. CNC has established a partnership with the Sentiers de l’Estrie, the Parc d’environnement naturel de Sutton and the Appalachian Corridor for the development of the reserve, which covers an area of ​​more than 78 km⁠2. It is home to exceptional forest ecosystems, such as a 210-year-old maple grove. There are also popular hiking trails like those that visit Mount Echo or Mount Singer.

NCC recently announced that three landowners, Ewa Dorynek Scheer, Bill Triolet and the Anderson family, have donated part of their land to NCC.

The Canadian government offers certain tax benefits to individuals and businesses who donate ecologically sensitive land. The fact remains that giving land is generally less profitable than selling it.

In a short video made for NCC, Ewa Dorynek Scheer talks about a moral duty.

In addition to receiving the donation of these lands, NCC partnered with Au Diable Vert to purchase a large portion of land that the Anderson family was selling.

“It was too big and too expensive for us, it was too big and too expensive for CNC, so we bought about 50% of the land on our own,” says Jeremy Fontana.

He points out that Au Diable Vert did not need to expand its land. “But when large chunks of land are put up for sale, you have to think both ecologically and strategically,” he says. This territory is not protected. In theory, it can be subdivided, trees can be cut down and houses built there, access to trails can be closed. »

He recalls that it is common for new owners to withdraw access rights to their territory. “They don’t want anyone walking around on their land. This is a problem that we see more and more in Quebec. »

This is a major issue for Les Sentiers de l’Estrie, which manages and maintains more than 200 kilometers of hiking trails. “The sustainability of the trails is at the heart of the mission of Les Sentiers de l’Estrie”, recalls the general manager of this organization, Nadia Fredette, in the video provided by NCC. “This collaboration allows us to reopen an important part of our network. »

For her part, Cynthia Patry, biologist and project manager at NCC, insists on the preservation of an ecological corridor all along the Missisquoi River valley.

“It’s important to maintain ecological corridors so species can move around,” she says in the NCC video. The objective is to maintain this connectivity and also to adapt to climate change. »

Ultimately, the ecological corridor will allow wildlife to move between Mount Orford and the mountains that are located in the heart of Vermont.

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