Maxime Jean completed a major challenge by summitting Mount Everest in 2004. Now he must tackle a series of other challenges that could prove just as arduous, such as ensuring fishermen have access to fishing plans. water and promote equitable sharing of the territory between hunters and other forest users.
Maxime Jean is the new general director of the Quebec Federation of Hunters and Fishermen (FédéCP). His journey is atypical to say the least.
“I did a bachelor’s degree in business administration, I started as a business account manager at Desjardins,” he says. Then I went to climb a mountain, Mount Everest, and it changed my life a bit, because I never went back to being a banker. »
He had prepared intensively for two years for Everest. But he also had around twenty years of climbing experience, he did a lot of hiking and winter camping “with the means at hand”: he slept with his “snow suit” in a sleeping bag summer.
For him, Everest was a childhood dream. “My heroes were people who were going to climb mountains. I wanted to go see if I had their stuff. »
Upon his return from Everest, he wrote a book and made a film about his experience. He gives lectures, particularly in schools and to the Grands Explorateurs.
Then, he tackles K2, the second summit in the world, but much more difficult and dangerous than Everest. Pneumonia stops him on the side of the mountain.
“It probably saved my life,” comments Maxime Jean. There were eight people who reached the summit that year, but four never returned. »
The experience gave rise to another series of film conferences. In 11 years, he will have given 1100 conferences.
So he began to lead regional development organizations. Until her 21-year-old son asked her to take him hunting. “I had hunted when I was young, we had a hunting camp in Bellechasse, but it had been more than 20 years, even 30 years, since I had gone hunting. I needed to refresh my knowledge. »
He therefore followed training with his son and rediscovered the Quebec Federation of Hunters and Fishermen. Then, the position of general manager opened up.
He sees his role as a conductor. “The people on my team all play their instruments quite a bit better than me, which is wonderful. I just have to make them play in harmony. »
Maxime Jean is still familiarizing himself with the federation’s files, but he has identified some priorities, such as access to bodies of water.
“More and more, the lakes are landlocked, which means that ordinary people do not have access to them. This is not a simple file, because there are many stakeholders. »
Another priority is the sharing of the territory between hunters and other users. “Generally it goes well, but there are exceptional cases. They are the ones making the headlines. »
The federation is participating in a courtesy campaign which involves other outdoor stakeholders. Hikers may deplore the fact that some trails are closed during the hunting season. On the other hand, the irruption of noisy hikers can annoy hunters on the lookout.
Maxime Jean admits that sometimes he misses the high mountains.
“But when I remember how hard it was, I tell myself that being outdoors here, and coming home or to the chalet in the evening, is very nice. »