A significant first step

After years of collaboration and hard work by the Cree Nations of Québec, Canopy and our allies in the environmental community and with the vigorous support of forest product customers, the Québec government acceded to the urgent need to part of the Broadback Forest, set in the Boreal Forest.

Photo by Mélissa Filion

While the work is not complete and further increments of protection are essential, in June of 2015, the government joined the Crees in announcing a step forward in protecting one of Québec’s boreal jewel, the Broadback Forest. Learn more about this victory for conservation, the work that remains to be done and how the forest-products marketplace can help secure the additional protection needed.


Campaign to Protect the Broadback Phase 1 – The Timeline


August 2015 – today Canopy continues to work for the full protection of the Broadback with the Cree First Nation, its allies and corporate partners.

July 2015 – Globally significant Boreal Forest and lakes have been protected in addition to the Assinica Cree Cultural Heritage Park, for a total of 9135 km2 conserved.

April 2015 – Canopy is present at the “Plan Nord” Launch by Premier Philippe Couillard. The Plan includes 2020 targets for protecting the North, profiling the Broadback Forest as an immediate opportunity.

October 2014 – Canopy and the CEO of one of Quebec’s largest printing company discuss a solution for the Broadback with Quebec’s Minister of Environment.

May 2014 – The first Customers and Investors Solutions Roundtable is held in Montreal, gathering scientists, ENGO’s, First Nation, logging industries and forest product customers in support of a timely solution for the Broadback Forest.

July 2013 – The Broadback Forest is profiled in Canopy’s marketplace update, sent to more then 700 companies in North America.

June 2013 – Large paper purchasers voice their support for Broadback conservation directly to the Quebec Ministers involved.

May 2013 – Most logging companies with wood allocations in the Broadback renew their commitment to respect the protected area proposals and continue the informal moratorium

May 2013 – An innovative ad is published by Canopy in the Globe and Mail. Protection of the Broadback is one of the ‘solutions’.

April 2013 – The Grand Council of the Crees proposes a new watershed management approach to conserving the Broadback Forest.

April 2013 – Canopy Applauds Conservation Vision of the Cree Grand Council for the Broadback Forest and suggests that government approval is the only step missing.

November 2012 – The Woodland Caribou Recovery Task Force Scientific Advisory Group publishes a report on the status of Woodland caribou in the James Bay region of Northern Quebec.

January 2012 – The Broadback seduction, a public and ad campaign by Canopy is published in the Metro Montreal newspaper and highlights the sad case of a forest whose calls for protection remain unanswered.

December 2011 – Canopy meets with the Quebec government jointly with other environmental organizations, the Crees of Waswanipi and logging companies to discuss conservation in the Broadback region.

June 2011 – Eight logging companies with wood allocations in, or sourcing fiber from, the Broadback region commit not to log in the Broadback proposed protected areas.

May 2011 – Louis Hamelin, well known Quebec author, receives an honor called « Prix des Libraires » and calls for Broadback Forest protection.

May 2011 – The Quebec government legislates the Assinica Cree Cultural Heritage Park Reserve, totaling 3,193 km2 within Quebec’s Boreal Forest.

March 2010 – Canopy and environmental allies secure temporary logging moratoriums from large forestry companies operating in the Broadback.

December 2009 – A call to action to protect the Broadback forest is made to the global forest product marketplace and to the Quebec government. Canopy is raising awareness amongst its partners.

2008-2010 – Cree First Nation communities of Oujé-Bougoumou, Waswanipi and Nemaska start a process whereby they make proposals for protected areas to the Quebec government.