Development plan of the Municipalité régionale de comté de La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau (MRCVG) and demands of the APLC

The land use planning and development plan (SAD) (in French only) is a planning tool that determines the development and the uses to be assigned to the different parts of the territory (zoning).

The video helps to better understand what the strategic plan is.

On June 16, 2020, the council of 17 mayors of the MRCVG adopted the latest version of the SAD. This version of the document (Plan 1: Major land uses) gives the public lands around Grand lac des Cèdres and Petit lac des Cèdres a “récréoforestry” designation, which would allow the Municipality of Messines in particular to grant logging permits, allow new resort lands in the second and third rings, and allow small mining operations.


APLC: against a récréoforestry designation

The protection of the watersheds in public lands around our two lakes is essential. The récréoforestry designation provided for in the SAD, unfortunately, offers no protection of the environment and opens the door to various activities incompatible with the objectives of conservation, water quality and the maintenance of biodiversity. The APLC, which represents more than 320 members, is asking that the public lands located around our two lakes be protected by the "conservation" designation.

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Conservation assignment: why?

  • A scientific study, Portrait et diagnostic des bassins versants des lacs des Cèdres, carried out in 2014 by ABV des 7, concludes that the total phosphorus load is 99% and 90% of the maximum capacity of the lakes. Any further development around the lakes would adversely affect the quality of the water.
  • A 571 ha protected area (white-tailed deer containment area) category IV (IUCN) exists east of Petit lac des Cèdres, but is not included in the new SAD. This area is incompatible with the authorization of new resort land in the second and third rings, recommended in several places in the new SAD. Managing ACCVs helps maintain adequate habitat for the survival of white-tailed deer.
  • Public lands around Grand lac des Cèdres are designated as the ruisseau des Cèdres wildlife site of interest. They are also ecologically exceptional. This is one of the very few places in North America where lake trout breed in streams. The preservation of this site is based on maintaining a quality physical habitat in and around the creek so that lake trout can continue to spawn there (ref: Wildlife sites of interest in the Outaouais, MRNF, May 2011).
  • A stand of red oaks as well as an endangered plant, Conopholis americana, west of Grand lac des Cèdres, must be protected. An official request for the creation of a protected area addressed to the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) in 2016 is still being studied (ref: inventory and report by Dendroica Environnement et Faune, 2016).


History of APLC interventions


  • August and September: The MRCVG will organize public consultations. The APLC will present its arguments for a land use change around the two lakes.
  • July: A committee of the APLC studied the SAD and implemented an action plan to request from the MRC a change of use from récréoforestry to conservation. A  Position Statement  was drafted and a letter requesting a hearing was sent to the mayor of Messines.
  • June: The SAD was revised and adopted on June 16, 2020, by the 17 mayors of the MRCVG. The document is now public and available on the MRCVG website under the "News" tab.


The board of the APLC presented to the municipal council of Messines, at its meeting of May 3, 2017, a resolution requesting an designation of “strict conservation” to protect the public lands around the two lakes, given the incompatibility of logging operations and any other development with preservation objectives.


The APLC funded a botanical inventory west of Grand lac des Cèdres, which revealed a significant presence of Conopholis americana, a plant designated as "vulnerable" in Quebec. This inventory strengthens our argument in favour of the creation of a protected area on public land west of Grand lac des Cèdres. The request was sent to the MELCC on October 25, 2016. This request is still under review.


The APLC, with the financial participation of the Municipal Council of Messines, carried out a scientific study on the health of the two lakes. This study concluded that an increase in the total phosphorus load, which has already reached 99% and 90% of the maximum capacity, respectively for Petit lac des Cèdres and Grand lac des Cèdres, would be harmful and that any human development—residential, commercial or forestry—around the two lakes would be detrimental.


The MRCVG approved an interim control bylaw aimed at modifying the development plan to include protective measures for the banks, the shorelines and the floodplains. The APLC supports bylaw 2018-325.

Early 2000

APLC created recreational trails between Grand lac des Cèdres and Petit lac des Cèdres in order to highlight an exceptional environment for the ecotourism needs of Messines. PERO has since taken over the management of these trails in collaboration with the Municipality of Messines and Rando-Québec.