A national park is created to protect a region’s representative or particular natural areas and landscapes. These territories must also be made accessible to the public through interpretation of the natural and cultural heritage and extensive outdoor activities. Conservation objectives stem from the need to balance accessibility and protection. More specifically, the mission of Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata is to protect a representative sample of the natural region of Monts Notre-Dame.
Covering an area of 175 km2, Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata stretches all along one of the most beautiful and largest lakes south of the St. Lawrence River, protecting half of the shoreline and the only island, Île Notre-Dame. The protection of Lac Témiscouata and some species of fish, such as the whitefish, are priorities for the park.
The park’s terrain, characteristic of the Appalachian and Notre-Dame Mountains, is covered in a varied forest mosaic with winding streams, lakes and waterfalls. The cedar groves and ancient forests form a precious refuge, especially for white-tailed deer and many rare plant species. Monitoring these species immediately became a priority for the park, and special attention was paid to this goal during its development.
Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata is also a link between humans and nature. Almost fifty archeological sites have already been identified inside park boundaries. These sites, the oldest possibly dating back to the Archaic Period, testify to thousands of years of human presence. However, this outstanding cultural heritage is fragile and represents a challenge for conservation. Several threats, such as shore erosion, looting and trampling, have been identified. The park, in collaboration with Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, therefore developed a cultural heritage management plan.
A relatively complete state of knowledge was compiled during the creation of the park. Its content is regularly updated each time the park acquires new knowledge.
Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata has determined its conservation priorities and relies on several tools, including the Conservation Plan and the Cultural Heritage Management Plan.
Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata has developed a conservation plan for planning and prioritizing actions to be taken by the park or its partners over a five-year period. This Conservation plan ensures the conservation of the territory’s natural and cultural heritage and the acquisition of missing information.
In partnership with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, PNLT has developed a cultural heritage management plan. This management plan bridges the gap between the Conservation Plan and the Education Plan. It also allows the involvement of regional organizations and communities through consultation, which is critical for reaching our goals.
Lastly, an ecological integrity monitoring program has been established.
Archeological sites and the remains and objects they contain, also called artefacts, are an important collective heritage. In fact, they are essential to learning more about our recent and distant past. Through studying all of the evidence, archeologists are able to decipher our history. This evidence is like the words in a huge manuscript buried beneath the ground. If an artefact is removed from the site, a little part of our history is lost along with it.
Archeological sites are protected by the Cultural Heritage Act, and the mission of the park is to watch over their conservation. To help us do so, we ask visitors to follow a few simple rules:
By acting with respect, you are actively participating in the protection of our collective heritage.