Located near the Iles-de-Boucherville and Mont-Saint-Bruno national parks, respectively, the Tailhandier Flats archipelago and the Saint-Bruno shooting range are public lands that CPAWS Quebec would like to see protected and accessible to the population of the Greater Montreal area.
Access to these natural spaces, in the heart of Greater Montreal, would improve the quality of life of the area’s residents, who endure a significant nature deficit.
Why protect the Tailhandier Flats?
The Tailhandier Flats archipelago, in the centre of a migratory corridor, is used by many species of migratory birds, including species at risk such as the least bittern. It is also a spawning ground for the large group of fish that reproduce in the floodplains (northern pike, yellow perch, cyprinids, etc.) and is characterized as a haven for biodiversity by Faune Québec.
With a surface area of 2.2 km2, the Tailhandier Flats archipelago would increase the surface area of the Boucherville Islands National Park by 25%, in addition to ensuring a connectivity corridor and better protecting biodiversity.
Currently owned by the federal government and managed by the Montreal Port Authority, the Tailhandier Flats are the subject of a plan to create three national wildlife areas along the St. Lawrence River, though they still lack official status.
Why protect the Saint-Bruno shooting range?
Situated on Mount Saint-Bruno, the shooting range belonging to the Department of National Defence is an exceptional site that supports a wealth of rare fauna and flora, as well as species at risk, including the Western chorus frog. Today, although a small area of the tree frog's habitat is protected by ministerial decree, the site as a whole remains without protected status.
The 440-hectare shooting range would increase the size of Mont Saint-Bruno National Park by half and give the park an important ecological connectivity zone.
Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park experienced a historic 40% increase in visitor traffic during the 2020 summer season. By significantly increasing the park's surface area, the shooting range would allow the park to fully play its part in maintaining and protecting refuge habitats for fauna and flora, in addition to better containing tourist traffic during the high season.
CPAWS Quebec’s work
In July 2017, CPAWS Quebec launched a campaign called “Yes in my backyard syndrome,” in collaboration with several partners. This campaign mobilized several thousand citizens, who signed a petition supporting the plan to protect the Tailhandier Flats by asking the federal government, the owner of this area, to cede the site to Quebec City in order to expand the Iles-de-Boucherville National Park. In April 2019, CPAWS Quebec celebrated the federal government's stated intention to create a national wildlife area to protect the Tailhandier Flats.
In 2020, the federal MP for Montarville sponsored a citizen petition with 1745 signatures, tabled in the House of Commons, that called for the former Saint-Bruno shooting range to be annexed to Mont-Saint-Bruno National Park.
To develop an overall vision and promote the conservation of the Tailhandier Flats and the shooting range, CPAWS Quebec is conducting a consultation and communication campaign with political decision makers and the general public and is recommending that these two areas be annexed to the Iles-de-Boucherville and Mont-Saint-Bruno national parks.
CPAWS Quebec aims to protect 50% of the province's natural areas. Support our mission!