• John Jantak

New Pincourt environmental group deposits Rousseau Forest study


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

A 39-page study conducted by Terra-Humana Solutions highlights the biodiversity in Rousseau Forest from late June into the beginning of winter 2018 including susceptible and vulnerable species of plants and animals.

A group of environmental advocates were on hand at the Tuesday evening council meeting in Pincourt on February 13 to support Carole Reed as she deposited a report highlighting the environmental significance of the woods at Place Pierre-Brunet, also known to locals as Rousseau Forest.

Reed is a spokesperson for Pincourt Vert, a newly created environmental protection group committed to preserving the woods in Rousseau Forest and dealing with other related green issues with the city.

Rousseau Forest biodiversity

The report, titled Ecosystem Description of the Rousseau Forest in Pincourt, Quebec, is a 39-page document by Dr. Isabelle-Anne Bisson, President of Terra-Humana Solutions. It highlights the biodiversity in Rousseau Forest from late June into the beginning of winter 2018.

“There are 27 different species of trees, including three that are listed as ‘susceptible’ provincially, and we have 18 species of shrubs. We have identified 52 plant species, six of which are vulnerable and one of which is endangered. We have three ponds that are full of aquatic life. The studies of the pond life are still in progress,” said Reed as she summarized the contents of the report to council from a prepared statement.

Endangered little brown bat

“The forest is on a migratory bird route. Over the summer many species of migratory and resident birds were identified, seven of which are threatened and three of which are of special concern,” said Reed.

Bisson’s work was complimented by research from Dr. Francois Fabienak, a Quebec authority on bats. “Dr. Fabienak has confirmed the presence of the little brown bat, which is classified federally as endangered and provincially as susceptible, said Reed.”

Western Chorus Frog

The study is incomplete because it only began at the end of June, 2018. Reed is hopeful Pincourt Vert will be able to continue their study this spring because the months of April and May are critical for identifying amphibians, flowering plants, and highlighting the diverse ecosystem that relies on the three ponds that are brimming with water from the annual snow melt.

“There are some species, especially the Western Chorus Frog, that may be present. We have no way of knowing because this area of Île-Perrot has never been studied. There have been studies that have identified the frog in other places, but no one has been to our particular area to study it,” said Reed.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Carole Reed, spokesperson for the recently formed environmental group Pincourt Vert, reads from a prepared statement that summarizes the contents of a 39-page environmental report regarding the flora, fauna, and wildlife in Rousseau that was commissioned by the group and presented to council on February 12.

Mayor wants to avoid bias

Mayor Yvan Cardinal thanked Reed and the citizens present for their continuing commitment to preserve the forest, but said he won’t read the report or pass it on to the engineering firm WSP that was hired to prepare the city’s own environmental report beginning this spring.

Cardinal said it’s important for him, the six councillors and the WSP biologist, to not be swayed by the contents from the Pincourt Vert report because the contents could bias their opinions. The mayor said he will base his final decision on the fate of Rousseau Forest exclusively on the report that will be prepared by WSP after they complete their one year study.

Independent report essential

“I appreciate the efforts made by the citizens regarding the forest. The council said it’s important for us to have an independent report. We now have a report from the citizens and on the opposite side we have the developer who has the authorization to go ahead with his development. I’ll make the final decision from the WSP report,” said Cardinal.

Reed said her group is also looking forward to continue their research this spring. “I’m hoping the city will indulge us and allow us to complete our report. The city has said it will not collaborate with our biologists. They seem to feel we present a bias. Scientists simply present the facts. It’s up to the public to interpret those facts,” she said.

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