GUIDE TO THE APPLICATION OF THE REGULATION RESPECTING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF FORESTS IN THE DOMAIN OF THE STATE

Complete guide

Chapter V – Roads, sandpits and forest infrastructures
Division II – Roads
§2. Prohibited construction, improvement or repair

Section 67

The construction or improvement of a road, other than a felling trail, a hauling trail or a trail not intended for motorized all-terrain vehicles, is prohibited within 60 m of an open peat bog with a pond, a marsh, a riparian swamp, a lake or a permanent watercourse, as well as within 30 m of an intermittent watercourse.

1

Objectives

  • To preserve the integrity of an aquatic, wetland or riparian environment
  • To avoid carrying sediment into an aquatic, wetland or riparian environment

Rules governing the construction or improvement of a road located near a wetland or aquatic environment

Figure 67A Rules governing the construction or improvement of a road located near a wetland or aquatic environment

In places where the soil is impervious hardpan, the distance between the road and the lake or watercourse to be considered for the purposes of the first paragraph must be at least 4 times the height of the lakeshore or the bank of the watercourse, with a minimum of 60 m. In those places, the hardpan must be left intact and the vegetal cover and stumps must be preserved.

2

Objectives

  • To avoid a landslide
  • To preserve the natural drainage of the soil

Rules governing the construction or improvement of a road located near a lake or watercourse, on soil that is impervious hardpan

Figure 67B Rules governing the construction or improvement of a road located near a lake or watercourse, on soil that is impervious hardpan

The first and second paragraphs do not apply if the topography or hydrography of the site does not make it possible to comply with the distances prescribed in those paragraphs and, in accordance with section 41 of the Sustainable Forest Development Act This link opens a new window (chapter A-18.1), the construction or improvement of the road within a shorter distance has been authorized by the Minister, or the performance of such work is authorized under a forestry permit or a contract or agreement entered into under that Act. Those situations must be the subject of written applications justifying a departure from the first or second paragraph and indicating the alternative measures proposed to ensure the protection of the environment.

The Minister consults the ministers responsible for the administration of the Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife This link opens a new window (chapter C-61.1) and the Environment Quality Act This link opens a new window (chapter Q-2) where the situations described in the third paragraph require the construction or improvement of the road less than 20 m from the lake or watercourse. In addition, the construction, improvement or repair of a road running along a lake or watercourse while encroaching on its bed or riparian ecotone requires the authorizations provided for in those Acts. 

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Objectives

  • To preserve the integrity of an aquatic, wetland or riparian environment
  • To avoid carrying sediment into an aquatic, wetland or riparian environment
  • To obtain the operational flexibility required for certain forest development activities
  • To protect forest resources during specific road, bridge or culvert construction or improvement work

Explanations

The distance (60 m or 30 m) is calculated based on the outermost limit of the watercourse’s ecotone. When present, the various open environments (open bog with pond, riparian shrub swamp) are part of the ecotone of the watercourse, lake or marsh.

An application for an exemption must be filed when a road is built or improved along any of the wetlands provided for in section 67 within 30 m or 60 m depending on the type of environment, regardless of the length of the road along it.

No exemption from section 67 is required when a road is built or improved to perpendicularly cross a wetland provided for in section 67, including all riparian treed swamps, except for the types of riparian treed swamps mentioned in section 33 when wood harvesting is required.

A person authorized by the Minister in accordance with section 41 of the Sustainable Forest Development Act This link opens a new window may – where the topography or hydrography of the site does not make it possible to move the road in order to comply with the distances prescribed below¹ – build or improve a road:

  • less than 60 m from an open peat bog with a pond, a marshland, a riparian swamp, a lake or a watercourse (see fig. 67A, item 3), and less than 30 m from an intermittent watercourse (see fig. 67A, item 2);
  • less than 60 m from a lake or watercourse, or at a distance equal to less than four times the height of the shore of the lake or watercourse at places where the soil is impervious hardpan (see fig. 67B).

A person wishing to obtain authorization for this must apply in writing to the regional office of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs This link opens a new window (in French only). The application must contain arguments to justify an exemption from the rule prohibiting road construction or improvement work within the distances mentioned above, and must indicate the replacement distances proposed to protect the aquatic and wetland environments. The only elements that may be invoked in the application are topography and hydrography. The Minister responsible for applying the Sustainable Forest Development Act may give authorization and specify the conditions that must be met during the work.

In the case of an application to construct or improve a road less than 20 m from a lake or watercourse (see fig. 67A, item 1), the Minister responsible for applying the Sustainable Forest Development Act must consult the Ministers responsible for applying the Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife This link opens a new window and the Environment Quality Act This link opens a new window in order to obtain their opinions of the proposed replacement measurements to protect the aquatic environments. In light of these opinions, the Minister responsible for applying the Sustainable Forest Development Act may give authorization and specify the forest management activities that are authorized and the conditions that must be met when carrying them out. In the case of an application to construct, improve or repair a road running along a lake or watercourse while encroaching on its bed or riparian ecotone (see fig. 67A), the work must also be authorized under section 128.7 of the Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife and by a certificate of authorization issued pursuant to section 22 of the Environment Quality Act.

Additional information

The application must be made using the form provided for that purpose. Where the proposed replacement standards fall within the approval framework, authorization may be granted along with certain conditions that must be met when carrying out the work.

Rules governing the construction or improvement of a road located near a wetland or aquatic environment

Figure 67A Rules governing the construction or improvement of a road located near a wetland or aquatic environment

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¹ : Road other than a felling or hauling trail or a trail not intended for motorized all-terrain vehicles