C-61.01, r. 9 - Order respecting the establishment of the Réserve écologique de la Chênaie-des-Îles-Finlay

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chapter C-61.01, r. 9
Order respecting the establishment of the Réserve écologique de la Chênaie-des-Îles-Finlay
ECOLOGICAL RESERVE — CHÊNAIE-DES-ÎLES-FINLAY
Natural Heritage Conservation Act
(chapter C-61.01, s. 43).
C-61.01
September 1 2012
1. The territory described in this section, the conservation plan of which appears in the Schedule, constitutes the Réserve écologique de Chênaie-des-Îles-Finlay.
OUTAOUAIS ADMINISTRATIVE REGION REGISTRATION DIVISION OF PONTIAC
TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION
CHÊNAIE-DES-ÎLES-FINLAY ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
A territory located in the territory of Municipalité de Waltham, Municipalité régionale de comté de Pontiac, in the Outaouais administrative region, and consisting of the parts of the Finlay islands in the Outaouais river, with an elevation higher than 106.68 m (350 ft, English measure). The territory is designated as parts of islands 52 and 54 in reference to the cadastre of Canton de Waltham, registration division of Pontiac. In reference to the original survey, the territory forms part of the Outaouais river islands fronting Canton de Waltham.
The land covers an area of approximately 94 ha.
The territory is shown on a plan to a scale of 1:20 000 drawn up on an extract of the cadastral map and the topographical map produced by the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, folio 31F15-200-0201. Prepared by the undersigned, the plan bears the same minute number as this accompanying technical description.
NOTES:
— The 106.68 m mark is in reference to mean sea level (NMM 1929).
— Measures expressed in the International System of Units (SI).
— In the official book of reference of the cadastre of Canton de Waltham, islands 52 and 54 contain respectively 200 acres (80.94 ha) and 128 acres (51.80 ha) in area. In the original survey, the islands have been specified as containing respectively 42.78 acres (17.31 ha) and 19 acres (7.69 ha) in area.
— The area of the ecological reserve will be defined by survey.
Prepared at Québec, on 27 July 2006, under number 548 of my minutes.
By: DENIS FISET,
Land Surveyor
Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs du Québec
Direction du patrimoine écologique et des parcs
Record No.: 5141-03-07 (7.26)
Centre d’expertise hydrique du Québec
Direction de la gestion du domaine hydrique de l’État
Record No.: 4116-03-01-07 (7.26)
O.C. 133-2007, s. 1.
2. (Omitted).
O.C. 133-2007.
CONSERVATION PLAN
Table of contents
Introduction
1. Official toponym
2. Plan and description
2.1 Geographic location, boundaries and dimensions
2.2 Ecological overview
2.2.1 Representative elements
2.2.2 Outstanding elements
2.3 Occupation and land uses
3. Protection status
4. Activities framework
4.1 Prohibited activities
4.2 Activities governed by other statutes
4.3 Supervision of activities
Bibliography
Introduction
The ecological reserve status assigned to the Finlay islands permanently ensures the protection of the biological diversity of land composed of well-preserved marshes and swamps, thick forest stands and dry beaches forming rare wildlife habitats. There are 6 species on the islands likely to be designated as threatened or vulnerable species, a number of indications of the presence of species of turtles and several species of amphibians and birds.
(1.) Official toponym
The official toponym of the Chênaie-des-Îles-Finlay ecological reserve “Réserve écologique de la Chênaie-des-Îles-Finlay” refers to the presence on the islands of a stand of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), a forest community extremely rare in Québec.
(2.) Plan and description
(2.1) Geographic location, boundaries and dimensions
The Chênaie-des-Îles-Finlay ecological reserve is located in the territory of Municipalité de Waltham, Municipalité régionale de comté de Pontiac, in the Outaouais administrative region, and consists of the parts of the Finlay islands in the Outaouais river at an elevation higher than 106.68 m. The territory is designated as parts of islands 52 and 54 in reference to the cadastre of Canton de Waltham, registration division of Pontiac. In reference to the original survey, the territory forms part of the Outaouais river islands fronting Canton de Waltham.
The land in the reserve covers an area of approximately 94 ha. It is located on the plan prepared on 27 July 2006 by land surveyor Denis Fiset which appears in the Schedule.
(2.2) Ecological overview
The ecological reserve forms part of the Ottawa Plain (provisional name) natural region which lies within the natural province of the St. Lawrence Lowlands.
(2.2.1) Representative elements
Climate:
The land of the ecological reserve lies within the sugar maple-bitternut hickory bioclimatic domain. It is characterized by a moderate, subhumid climate with a long growing season. The average annual temperature is 4.5 °C, average annual precipitation is 1,065 mm and the average growing season is approximately 201 days.
Geology:
The basement rocks of the Finlay islands are formed of Ordovician rocks including limestone, dolomite, mudrock and sandstone. The basement rocks have no influence on the soils or vegetation because they are covered by Quaternary fluviatile deposits of sand, gravel and clay. On the southern island (island 54), the wind is believed to have caused the deposits to shift to form an eolian deposit which then became colonized by vegetation.
Archaeology:
There has been no archaeological work on the Finlay islands to date. The islands have enormous archaeological potential, however, because the Outaouais river is a major waterway which provided an east-west transportation link for generations of Amerindians. Archaeological research carried out in recent years has shown the potential of the Aux Allumettes island area slightly west of the Finlay islands. The archaeological sites that may be discovered in the area will be extremely fragile because they are generally close to the surface and as a result any disturbance of the soil could partially or completely destroy them. The ecological reserve will ensure their preservation.
Vegetation:
Silver maple predominates on the fringe of the marshy areas of the Finlay islands where the soils are subject to seasonal flooding. Red ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), black ash (Fraxinus nigra), bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and American elm (Ulmus americana) are frequently found in these forest communities while the herbaceous layer is formed exclusively of sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis).
The silver maple stands give way to red oak stands slightly upslope on the sites which are not affected by annual flooding. The latter forest community is largely dominant, covering over three quarters of the Finlay islands.
The stand of bur oak grows at the higher elevations on the Finlay islands. The main companion species in the oak stand are silver maple (Acer saccharinum), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), black ash (Fraxinus nigra), butternut (Juglans cineréa) and basswood (Tilia americana).
Pine stands are found in the better-drained areas, including the eolian deposit. These stands are on the southern island (island 54). White pine (Pinus strobus), red pine (Pinus resinosa) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana) are the dominant species in these softwood forest communities along with a range of other pioneering species.
Fauna:
Various species of amphibians, birds and mammals have been inventoried on the Finlay islands.
Amphibians: The inventories have confirmed the reproduction of the spring peeper, leopard frog and green frog. The presence of bull frogs, blue-spotted salamanders, American toads and gray treefrogs has also been observed.
Birds: A total of 44 species of birds were observed on the Finlay islands while the inventories were being conducted: great blue heron, Canada goose, wood duck, American black duck, broad-winged hawk, red-tailed hawk, spotted sandpiper, great horned owl, ruby-throated hummingbird, belted kingfisher, yellow-bellied sapsucker, downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, northern flicker, eastern woodpecker, least flycatcher, great crested flycatcher, eastern kingbird, yellow-throated vireo, warbling vireo, red-eyed vireo, blue jay, American crow, black-capped chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, white-breasted nuthatch, veery, American robin, cedar waxwing, yellow warbler, yellow-rumped warbler, blackburnian warbler, pine warbler, black-and-white warbler, American redstart, northern waterthrush, chipping sparrow, song sparrow, rose-breasted grosbeak, red-winged blackbird, common grackle, brown-headed cowbird, Baltimore oriole and American goldfinch.
Reptiles: During field trips, no turtles or snakes were observed despite the presence of much ground material where snakes would normally be found. Turtle egg laying has been confirmed through the observation of five predated nests found on the dune on the southern island.
Mammals: During inventories, red squirrel, beaver, muskrat and white-tailed deer were noted. Traces of white-tailed deer, muskrat, raccoon and black bear and feces of black bear, raccoon and white-tailed deer have also been noted, confirming the presence of at least 6 species of mammals, without counting the 4 species of small mammals observed: the short-tailed shrew, masked shrew, meadow jumping mouse and white-footed mouse.
(2.2.2) Outstanding elements
At least 5 threatened or vulnerable plant species likely to be so designated have been inventoried on the Finlay islands to date. They are the white oak (Quercus alba), woolly hudsonia (Hudsonia tomentosa), Cyperus lupulinus subsp. macilentus, Sporobolus cryptandrus and Polygonella articulata. These plants have all been observed on the eolian dune deposit found on the southern island. The habitat of a sixth plant species that is part of the group of threatened or vulnerable species, Gratiola aurea, has also been reported on the dry beaches of both the Finlay islands.
The Finlay islands have considerable wildlife potential because of 2 species of turtle, namely the spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera), designated as threatened, and the map turtle (Graptemys geographica) which is found on the list of wildlife species likely to be threatened or vulnerable. The presence of the map turtle on the islands was reported in the 1990s.
(2.3) Occupation and land uses
The land is public property and no rights have been granted within the boundaries of the ecological reserve.
(3) Protection status
Ecological reserve status will allow a representative sample of the large sand-covered islands characteristic of the Outaouais river to be integrally preserved on a permanent basis.
(4) Activities framework
The activities carried on within the boundaries of the Chênaie-des-Îles-Finlay ecological reserve are governed by the Natural Heritage Conservation Act (chapter C-61.01). This conservation plan does not specify any prohibited activity other than those prohibited in the ecological reserves under the Act; nor does it authorize any other activities, or set any additional constraints on the activities permitted by the Act.
(4.1) AProhibited activities
— General prohibitions under the Act
As provided in the Natural Heritage Conservation Act, the main activities prohibited in an area to which ecological reserve status has been assigned are
— forest development activities within the meaning of section 4 of the Sustainable Forest Development Act (chapter A-18.1);
— mining, and gas or petroleum development;
— mining, gas and petroleum exploration, brine and underground reservoir exploration, prospecting, and digging or boring;
— the development of hydraulic resources and any production of energy on a commercial or industrial basis;
— hunting, trapping, fishing, earthwork and construction activities, agricultural, industrial or commercial activities and, generally, any activity likely to alter the state or nature of ecosystems.
No person may be in an ecological reserve, except for an inspection or for the carrying on of an activity authorized under the Act.
The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks may, however, give written authorization on the conditions the Minister determines for any activity consistent with the purposes of an ecological reserve or with its management.
(4.2) Activities governed by other statutes
As stated above, certain activities consistent with the purposes of an ecological reserve, such as educational and scientific research or management activities may be conducted with the prior authorization of the Minister. That authorization from the Minister does not imply an exemption from the permit or authorization requirements of other statutes or regulations that apply to the ecological reserve.
(4.3) Supervision of activities
The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks is responsible for the application of the Natural Heritage Conservation Act, and is therefore responsible for management of the ecological reserves established under that Act. The Minister supervises and monitors the measures in the Act as they relate to activities permitted in protected areas. In addition, the Minister has authority over the land which forms part of the domain of the State.
Bibliography
BONIN, J. 1990. Rapport d’inventaire des tortues dans les projets de réserves écologiques Îles-Finlay et Grand-Marais en juillet 1990. Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère de l’Environnement, Direction de la conservation et du patrimoine écologique. 21 pages.
DAIGLE, C. 1992. Distribution et abondance de la tortue géographique sur le tronçon Aylmer-Fort William de la rivière des Outaouais. Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère du Loisir, de la Chasse et de la Pêche, Direction de gestion des espèces et des habitats. 24 pages.
DAIGLE, C., DESROSIERS, A. and J. BONIN. 1994. Distribution and abundance of common map turtles, Graptemys geographica, in the Ottawa River, Quebec. Can. Field-Nat. 108:84-86.
FRENETTE, J. 1988. Le pays des ANICENABE. La revendication territoriale globale de la nation algonquine. Conseil de bande de la réserve algonquine de Maniwaki. 338 pages.
GAGNON, D., NANTEL, P. and N. LAVOIE, 1994. Étude écologique pour valider le projet de réserve écologique des Îles-Finlay de la Rivière des Outaouais. Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère de l’Environnement, Direction du patrimoine écologique et du développement durable. 52 pages.
GÉRARDIN, V. and D. McKENNEY. 2001. Une classification climatique du Québec à partir de modèles de distribution spatiale de données climatiques mensuelles: vers une définition des bioclimats du Québec. Gouvernement du Québec, Ministère de l’Environnement, Direction du patrimoine écologique et du développement durable. Contribution du service de la cartographie écologique n° 60. 40 pages.
ST-HILAIRE, D.1 and A. GIROUX2, 2005. Inventaires fauniques à la réserve projetée des Îles Finlay, MRC de Pontiac, canton de Waltham, en 2005. Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, Direction de l’aménagement de la faune de l’Outaouais, Gatineau. 28 pages.
CHÊNAIE-DES-ÎLES-FINLAY ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
O.C. 133-2007.
REFERENCES
O.C. 133-2007, 2007 G.O. 2, 1116 and 1293