La Mauricie National Park

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La Mauricie National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Le Passage.JPG
Wapizagonke Lake viewed from the lookout "Le passage"
Map showing the location of La Mauricie National Park
La Mauricie National Park
Location of La Mauricie National Park, in Québec, in Canada
Location Shawinigan / Saint-Mathieu and Saint-Jean-des-Piles, Quebec, Canada
Nearest city Shawinigan, Quebec
Coordinates 46°48′N 72°58′W / 46.800°N 72.967°W / 46.800; -72.967Coordinates: 46°48′N 72°58′W / 46.800°N 72.967°W / 46.800; -72.967
Area 536 km2 (207 sq mi)
Established 1970
Visitors 149,521 (in 2007[1])
Governing body Parks Canada

La Mauricie National Park (French: Parc national de la Mauricie) is located near Shawinigan, in the Laurentian mountains, in Mauricie, in the province of Québec, Canada. It covers 536 km2 (207 sq mi) in the southern Canadian Shield region bordering the Saint Lawrence lowlands. The park contains 150 lakes and many ponds.

The park lies within the Eastern forest-boreal transition ecoregion.[2] The forests in this region were logged from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century. The park's forests have regrown and contain a mixture of conifers and mixed deciduous trees.

Wildlife in the park includes mooses, black bears, beavers and otters. It supports a small number of wood turtles, rare in Canada. The park is a popular location for camping, canoeing and kayaking.

The park is named after the nearby Saint-Maurice River to the east of the park. The Matawin River flows along the west and north borders of the park.

Toponymy[edit]

The name "Mauricie" was first used in 1933 by Bishop Albert Tessier to designate an administrative region of Government of Québec, for which the Valley of Saint-Maurice is the main feature.[3] The watershed of Saint-Maurice River is also administered in part by the administrative regions of Lanaudière (West), James Bay (North) and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean (East). Moreover, the administrative region of Mauricie covers other watersheds including the Champlain River and half the territory of the Batiscanie, Quebec.

As in Saint-Maurice River, it was named in honor of Maurice Poulin La Fontaine which was an unnamed stronghold granted to his wife in 1676 near the mouth of the river. This "fief" (harvested area) was recognized in 1723 as the Saint-Maurice and the name of the river, which previously denominated "River Three Rivers", was replaced by the current toponym to the moist 18th century.[4] The river is also known Attikamekw under the name of Tapiskwan Sipi ("River of the threaded needle").[5] The Algonquian peoples know it under the name of Metaberoutin ("Discharging winds") and Abenaki under the name of Madôbaladenitekw ("River that ends").[4]

Geography[edit]

The Mauricie National Park is located in the province of Quebec, Canada about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of Shawinigan and about 45 kilometres (28 mi) north of the city of Trois-Rivières. It is bordered by the Saint-Maurice River to the east and the Matawin River to the north. It is accessible from the villages of Saint-Jean-des-Piles and Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc. Secondary access is also possible by Saint-Gérard-des-Laurentides. The park extends only three municipalities: Shawinigan, Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc and Saint-Roch-de-Mékinac.

It is bordered to the west by the Mastigouche Wildlife Reserve and north by the Zec du Chapeau-de-Paille and the Saint-Maurice Wildlife Reserve.

Geology[edit]

The Pines Island (Île aux pins) in the middle of Lake Wapizagonke

The park is located in Quebec, south of Canadian Shield. The park is part of the Grenville Province, the most recent of seven geological provinces that make up the entire Canadian Shield age Precambrian.[6] The park is itself part of a gently sloping plateau east to west from 150 metres (490 ft) near Saint-Maurice River and near 500 metres (1,600 ft) to inland.[6] This plateau of older metamorphic rocks 955 million years is strewn valleys and faults.[6] The lower valleys are flooded by recent deposits dating from the retreating glaciers of the Wisconsin glaciation.[6]

Relief[edit]

Hydrography[edit]

Lac de la Tourbière (Lake Bog)

There are approximately 150 lakes in the national park. Lake size varies from small lakes Bogs at higher elevations containing water with acid and largest lakes valleys that have clear water.[7] All lakes and streams flows into the Saint-Maurice by rivers "À la pêche" River (Shawinigan), Matawin and Shawinigan.

Natural heritage[edit]

The Mauricie National Park is located in the green area Level I established by Commission for Environmental Cooperation of Northern Forests. It is also entirely within the ecoregion level II of the mixed forest shield and ecological level III region of Southern Laurentians.[8]

At the national level, the National Park is located in the ecoregion southern Laurentians, itself located in Ecoprovince Southern Boreal Shield and the Boreal Boreal Shield.[9]

Flora[edit]

Flora fall in the path of Lake Gabet

The park contains more than 440 species of vascular plants 68 species of lichens and more than 85 species of mosses. The park also has 27 species of rare plants or special interest.[10]

The forest covers 93% of the territory. It is located at the northern treeline leafyes Quebec. There are 30 species of different trees. The park is part of the domain of maple to yellow birch (Acer saccharum and Betula papyrifera) which occupies the illuminated slopes and well-drained soils. The Balsam firs (Abies balsamea) the pine (Pinus sp) and spruces (Picea sp) occupy the rocky cliffs and wetlands.[10] It includes a endangered species, the butternut (Juglans cinerea).[11]

Wildlife[edit]

A Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

The national park has a variety of wildlife. It includes among other 50 species of mammals, such as the Eastern Wolf (Canis lycaon), the moose (Alces alces), the black bear (Ursus americanus), the hare (Lepus americanus), the squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) and shrew Greylag (Sorex cinereus). Of these, 2 are Artiodactyla, 13 carnivores, 16 rodents, 8 bat, 10 insects and 1 falls lagomorphs.[12] One species is considered endangered, or the Eastern Wolf.

Black Duck (Anas rubripes)

There are also over 180 species of birds, including at least 81 nest. Among these species, there are 12 species of raptors and 34 species of aquatic.[13] Coniferous forests are frequented by ruby-crowned kinglet (Regulus calendula), the obscure warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina), the Nashville Warbler (Oreothlypis ruficapilla), the Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia), the solitary thrush (Catharus guttatus), the grosbeak (Hesperiphona vespertina) and Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis).[13] Mixed forests are occupied by the ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus), the Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata), the tit black head (Poecile atricapillus) and purple finch (Carpodacus purpureus).[13] In hardwood forests live the ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla), the Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens), the veery (Catharus fuscescens), the red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus), the downy East (Contopus virens) and sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius).[13] The most raptors are observed (Pandion haliaetus) the small nozzle (Buteo platypterus), the barred owl (Strix varia) and grand Duke of America (Bubo virginianus).[13] Aquatic serves as nesting habitat for withers Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), the merganser (Mergus merganser), the Black Duck (Anas rubripes) and finally the loon (Gavia immer), which is the emblem of the park.[13] The park includes eight species at risk, or the Whip-poor (Caprimulgus vociferus), the Nighthawk (minor Chordeiles), the Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica), the olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi), the Canada Warbler (Wilsonia canadensis), the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus).[11]

The park includes only five species of reptiles: the wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) and painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) and three species snakes, including the garter (Thamnophis sirtalis). It is also attended by fourteen species of amphibians including six salamander and eight frogs.[12] One species is considered endangered: the wood turtle.[11]

Most lakes have a relatively poor fish fauna due to the youth of the country. The brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) is the most common kind of water plans, it is also the only species of many lakes, especially north of the park.[14] Fishing in lakes, Isaiah, French and Bérubé being lower altitude, have the greatest biodiversity, with populations stickleback(Pungitius pungitius) and sculpin flathead (Cottus ricei).[14] The lake also has the only French population char (Salvelinus alpinus) of[14] park. This population is threatened by the introduction at the beginning of the century, several invasive fish species, such as chub (Semotilus atromaculatus).[15] Note that 19 species of fish have been introduced by humans during the 19th and 20th centuries.[14]

Ecosystem management[edit]

Parks forests were once dominated by white pine. The logging of the 21st century and some forest fires in the history contributed to a major decrease; today white pine is only 1% of the trees of the park.[16] To overcome this scarcity, the park proceeds from 1994 prescribed burns in order to eliminate competing species and facilitate the germination of seedlings.[16]

Over the logging and hunting and fishing club greatly modify lakes and rivers by the timber rafting, construction dam and the introduction of exotic fish species.[17] The park has decided to demolish the dams and weirs built to float logs in order to bring the lakes to their natural levels.[17] Once its dams remove a team performs the cleaning shore remove debris and wood ball leave the float in order to reactivate the natural processes on the shore of Lake.[17] Finally the plan provides for the elimination of exotic fish species in some lakes and their replacement by local strains of brook trout.[17]

History[edit]

The earliest human remains in the park date from the Archaic period in North America, between 7000 and 3,000 years (95,000 Ms) BC.[18] The 34 archaeological sites “protohistoric” suggest that Native Americans who frequented the park lived in small family groups.[18] They mainly occupied the valley of lakes Antigamac and Wapizagonke and there were fishing, hunting and gathering.[18] A cliff of Lake Wapizagonke also contains cave paintings, which would be one of the few witnesses to the spirituality of Native Americans of that era.[18] To 17th century, the Attikamekw and Algonquian peoples respectively occupied the northern and southern basin of the Saint-Maurice River living mainly trap and hunting.[18] The Abenaki used the park area from the middle of the 19th century for hunting and trade.[18]

This is from the beginning of the 19th century as logging began. They began by cutting white pines and red to lumber. This section lasted until 1925, where trees of good diameter became scarce. At the beginning of the 19th century, the forest industry turned instead to wood for Pulp (paper), which made the Mauricie, one of the largest paper producers newspaper for the first half of the 20th century. In addition to logging, the industry greatly altered the balance of forests by planting the White spruce 426 hectares (1,050 acres) and causing forest fire which burned parts more or less important in 1910 and 1954.[19]

Cottage Wabenaki

At the end of the 19th century, rich American tourists settled in the area and opened private hunting and fishing clubs. The first three are the open Shawinigan Club 1883, the Laurentian Club in 1886 and the Club Commodore 1905. Thirteen other less prestigious clubs settled on the territory of the park between 1940 and the creation of the park in 1970 members of its clubs were picked and enjoyed the right to hunt and fish on its territories. Although they allowed a certain nature protection in the territory of the park, these clubs have had the effect of introducing many exotic fish species in lakes.[20] These clubs, there remains only the "Wabenaki and Andrew lodges", old properties of Laurentian Club, which are located on the edge of lac à la Pêche (Lake of Fisheries). They were acquired by Parks Canada in 1972 and Wabenaki and Andrew lodges were converted into dormitories and rooms for visitors.[20] A cottage at “lac des cinq” (Lake of the Five), once owned by the Brown family is today used by the park staff.

The park was created in 1970. This creation stops the activities of 16 private clubs in its territory.[20] The park is created on August 22, 1970 after a federal-provincial agreement.[21]

Activities[edit]

Canoe camping[edit]

The park offers a canoe camping circuit allowing access to a dozen lakes in the hinterland connected by many portages. This circuit allows accessing to some 200 camping sites that are accessible only by boat.[22]

Other activities[edit]

Rowing on the Lac du fou (Lake of the Crazy) at sunrise

See also[edit]

Related articles[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Parks Canada Attendance 2003-04 to 2007-08". Parks Canada. 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-04. 
  2. ^ Olson, D. M, E. Dinerstein, et al. (2001). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth". BioScience 51 (11): 933–938. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2. 
  3. ^ "Portrait and History". Tourisme Mauricie. Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Rivière Saint-Maurice". Commission de toponymie du Québec. Bank place names in Quebec. Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  5. ^ Marie-Claude Cleary. "Portrait of Chantal Trottier". Radio Canada. Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d "The roots an ancient mountain". Parks Canada. Retrieved November 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ "A landscape of lakes and streams". Parks Canada. Retrieved August 21, 2010. 
  8. ^ ecological Regions of North America: Toward a Common Perspective. Commission for Environmental Cooperation. pp. 18–19. ISBN 2-922305-19-8. 
  9. ^ Natural Resources Canada. "Ecological Framework". Atlas of Canada. Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "the meeting between the forest of the south and the northern forest". Parks Canada. Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c "List of Species Assessed by COSEWIC to Date by Protected Heritage Area". Parks Canada. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "A typical and varied fauna". Parks Canada. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f "A good place for birds". Parks Canada. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c d Parks Canada. "A landscape of lakes and streams". Parks Canada. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  15. ^ "A challenge for restoration of aquatic environments". Parks Canada. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  16. ^ a b "Controlled burning to the rescue of the white pine". Parks Canada. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  17. ^ a b c d "A challenge restoration of aquatic environments". Parks Canada. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f (Parks Canada 2010, p. 22)
  19. ^ Claire Gourbilière. "the national Park La Mauricie". Encyclopedia of French cultural Heritage of America. Retrieved June 7, 2009. 
  20. ^ a b c Government of Canada. "the hunting and fishing clubs". Parks Canada. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  21. ^ Guy Veillette (16 June 2010). "Article - Quarante bougies pour le Parc national de la Mauricie (Forty candles for the National Park Mauricie)". Le Nouvelliste (Trois-Rivières). Retrieved November 14, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Canoe-camping and camping". Parks Canada. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 

External links[edit]