Protection and sustainability of our ecosystem

John Fowles and Kathy LePoer

Lizette Gilday and Patricia Lavoie, LJI 

The Appalachian Corridor (ACA) is a non-profit conservation organization founded in 2002 by three dynamic Townshippers: biologists Francine Hone and Louise Gratton together with project manager, the late Terri Monahan. Their mission was, and remains to be, the protection of natural areas in the Appalachian region, a territory stretching from Granby to Sherbrooke and along the Canada/U.S. border. 

Now in its 21st year, ACA is the second largest conservation association in the province. With a staff of 20 full-time experts in environmental issues and an annual investment budget of 5 million dollars, it provides technical, scientific and administrative assistance to 17 local conservation groups including Conservation Lac Brome, Mont Echo Conservation Association, the Brome Lake Land Foundation and Reuter Appalachian Corridor and its partners, over 37,000 acres of natural areas on private land are protected in perpetuity. 

Several local citizens have played an important role in the preservation of land in the corridor. Gail Watt, a former councillor in West Bolton and vocal supporter of the protection of Mont Foster, has donated two parcels of land, twelve acres in 2003 and eight acres in 2022. Her motivation? “To protect my friends, the mammals, birds and plants…” in perpetuity.

Kathy LePoer wanted to make a difference. Initially they donated fifteen acres of land many years ago. They patiently waited thirty-five years to purchase another eighty acres adjoin- ing their property which they donated for a total of ninety-five acres. Their children are delighted to eventually be able to live on protected property. 

When land is donated in perpetuity, the Nature Conservancy of Canada becomes the owner. ACA acts as the intermediary, assessing the value of the land and conducting a thorough inventory of the flora and fauna inhabiting the area. Donors and future inhabitants have the right to remain on the land – again in perpetuity. As municipal and provincial laws may change, the NCC guarantees the legacy forever. 

The Appalachian Corridor is responsible for all costs associated with the donation. There are, as well, certain tax benefits involved. For more information: 

Lizette Gilday is President, of Mont Echo Conservation Association.