Conservation

The Ruiter Valley, a treasure to cherish

© M.-C. Planet
The Ruiter Valley Land Trust is committed to protecting the 240 hectares of natural habitat it owns, as well as the 3,250 hectares that it protects through conservation servitudes for generations to come. Our action has inspired other local organizations to get involved in the protection of natural areas through private, non-governmental initiatives. These initiatives have contributed to the implementation of some of the greatest conservation projects in the region, such as the Appalachian Corridor project, and the Green Mountain Reserve with our partners ACA and Nature conservancy QC.
Our main target area for protection is the Ruiter Valley watershed totalling approximately 10,000 acres. The RVLT‘s strategy focuses on protecting wilderness areas and unfragmented forests, summits and upper slopes (600 m and more), headwaters and smaller natural entities essential to the maintenance of the biodiversity of this region and other areas in Potton.


Acting together with landowners

© S. Plantenga

Voluntary participation of landowners is at the basis of RVLT’s successful conservation projects. Since our creation in 1987, we have established a conservation area of 4,500 hectares. Such an accomplishment would not have been possible without the contribution of our neighbours who have donated all the ecologically sensitive land and servitudes we currently hold.
Our protected area has been extended mainly through servitudes from neighbouring landowners, and by its proximity to the 290 acres of the Réserve écologique of the Ministry of Environment (MDDEP), and the Green Mountain Nature Reserve (over 12,000 acres).

Testimonials
The following testimonials tell the story of a few of the landowners who participated in the development of The Ruiter Valley Land Trust by giving land or granting a conservation servitude on part of their land.

Anne Shepherd   Joyce Booth   Stanley Lake   Stansje Plantenga et Robert Shepherd

 


Eco-gifts and conservation servitudes

If you own an ecologically sensitive land, you too can protect the natural heritage of your property for your own benefit and for the benefit of future generations. Donating a property does not necessarily mean severing the connection you and your family have with your land. A variety of options are available to meet your needs and aspirations ― from donating land outright to special agreements that allow you to retain ownership of your property. To learn more about the various conservation tools at the disposal of landowners, you may contact us or visit Environment Canada’s website: Environment Canada

Research

 
The numerous biological inventories done in the Ruiter Valley underline its importance as a prime example of native hardwood and mixed forest, harbouring hundreds of birds, mammals, reptiles and plants, including many threatened local species. As an integral part of the only natural area south of the Saint-Lawrence River, the territory provides an essential habitat for many mammals, such as the Canada Lynx, Black Bear, Moose, Mink, River Otter, American Martin, Fisher and Wolf.

Wildlife monitoring program

In 2003, RVLT implemented a wildlife monitoring program which aims at identifying the presence of 10 focal species, some of which are vulnerable or endangered. The Keeping Track Monitoring Program ® is a training program in the identification of signs of animal presence. This innovative program, tried and tested in the United States, has been developed by Sue Morse, a well-known Vermont naturalist and founder of the organization Keeping Track inc.. The monitoring program teaches citizens the scientific protocol to do an inventory of wildlife.

To date, our adaptation of this program, known as Faune sans frontières relies on the voluntary participation of about 30 trackers divided into eight transect teams active in the Potton, Sutton and Salmon River sectors. The trackers, all trained in the Keeping Track Monitoring Program ® based in Vermont collect data four times a year on the following focal species: Mountain Lion, Bobcat, Canada Lynx, Black Bear, Martin, Mink, River Otter, Fisher, Moose and Wolf. Our data base, which is unique in Quebec, is an invaluable tool for our conservation planning and strategy.

















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