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Press Release

Opémican National Park Project

MINISTER PIERRE ARCAND ANNOUNCES PUBLIC HEARINGS IN TÉMISCAMINGUE

Québec, March 28, 2012 – Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Pierre Arcand announces that public hearings will be held in regard to the creation of the Parc national d'Opémican in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region. The public hearings are scheduled in Témiscaming on June 9 and 10, 2012.

Located at the westernmost part of Québec at the border with Ontario, the territory proposed for this new national park covers an area of some 293.2 km². Situated between lakes Témiscamingue and Kipawa, the territory resembles a hilly plateau irrigated by many watercourses, including the rivière Kipawa and its high falls. The steep rocky walls bordering lac Témiscamingue are a remarkable feature of the future park, and provide a nesting area for the peregrine falcon, a species that is designated as vulnerable in Québec.

“From North to South and East to West, we are taking steps to protect the exceptional natural heritage of Québec. This is what we propose in the case of the future parc national d'Opémican, which offers a varied landscape and strong potential for developing recreational tourism. I am inviting the people of Témiscamingue and all other parties interested in the creation of this new national park to participate in these public hearings,”Minister Arcand stated.

A Natural and Historic Site Worth Protecting

The territory proposed for the parc national d'Opémican is located at the junction of the deciduous and boreal forests. It includes a diverse range of habitats for some 300 species of fauna and 465 different plants, of which 10 are likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable. Tall eastern white and red pines are ubiquitous here and dominate the landscape.

The name“Opémican,”given to the point where the eponymous historic site is located means,“along the path followed by the Indians.”A natural waypoint on lac Témiscamingue, the point today still includes buildings that recall the timber booming of the years between 1888 and 1975. The Opémican national park project provides a long-awaited opportunity to promote these historic buildings, which include the Auberge Jodoin, constructed in 1883, the third-oldest building in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region.

How to Participate in the Public Hearings

Individuals and organizations interested in offering their opinions on the parc national d'Opémican project should make their intentions known by submitting a brief stating their position, no later than May 18, 2012. Briefs may be submitted by e-mail to opemican@mddefp.gouv.qc.ca or by mail to the following address:

Projet de parc national dOpémican
Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs
Direction du patrimoine écologique et des parcs
675, boulevard René-Lévesque Est, 4e étage, boîte 21
Québec (Québec)  G1R 5V7

The public hearings will be held on June 9 and 10, 2012 in Témiscaming, at a venue and time to be announced at a later date.

Documentation about the parc national d'Opémican project is available on the Web site of the ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP): www.mddefp.gouv.qc.ca/parcs/opemican/index-en.htm. Information can also be obtained by telephoning the Direction du patrimoine écologique et des parcs du MDDEP at 418-521‑3907.

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Sources:

Sarah Shirley
Press Officer
Cabinet of the Minister of Sustainable
Development, Environment and Parks
Tel. 418 521-3911

 

Information:

Media Relations
Ministère du Développement durable,
de l’Environnement et des Parcs418-521-3991

 

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