Protecting the Restigouche

A Canadian Heritage River, the Restigouche River system is one of Eastern Canada’s most spectacular wild watersheds. Its 1 million hectares of valleys, hills, and streams flow across northwestern New Brunswick and Quebec’s Gaspé.

The international Two Countries, One Forest network recognizes the Restigouche as one of 5 critical ecological linkages in the northern New England / southern Quebec / Maritimes region. Yet, government has protected from development less than 3% of the watershed in New Brunswick, leaving most areas open for mining, logging or new development proposals. Forest management plans show that most of the wildest areas of forest on Crown land will be logged within 5 to 10 years. This will remove habitat around salmon streams and for wildlife that need old forests.

The Restigouche Watershed is important for wildlife

Moose, black bears, American marten, fisher, bald eagles, barred owls, scarlet tanagers and numerous interior forest birds thrive amidst forest-covered hills, deep gorges and some of the most pristine rivers and streams in Eastern Canada.

Atlantic salmon - The Restigouche River and its tributaries support one of the most productive wild Atlantic salmon populations, with some of the largest salmon, in eastern Canada.

Canada lynx – Restigouche natural areas are home to critical populations of Canada lynx. The area provides a natural corridor for lynx to disperse for feeding and breeding between the Gaspé and northern Maine.

The Restigouche Watershed is important for people

A world-class destination for ecotourism, outdoor adventures, and angling, with plenty of economic tourism potential yet untapped.

Part of the traditional territory of the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaw, who have an interest in conserving Restigouche’s resources and cultural heritage

Canoeing, hunting, trapping and angling support many Restigouche communities, and an attachment to the land, sea and rivers runs deeply - angling alone is worth at least $20 million and hundreds of jobs to the region.

Forestry on public land is an important part of the region’s economy - increased conservation and ecologically responsible forest management will help us sell forest products to an increasingly environmentally conscious marketplace.


Our vision is that the Restigouche River Watershed conserves the diversity of natural habitats and wildlife across the Restigouche River watershed (in New Brunswick and Quebec) and supports vibrant human communities and sustainable forest and river-based economies.


CPAWS NB has been meeting with community groups in the Restigouche for over 15 years. CPAWS NB and our partners believe that government needs to conserve these natural assets in the Restigouche to ensure vibrant communities:

 Protected wilderness areas that support the ecotourism and tourism sectors, including road less areas, steep slopes and scenic rivers – at least 10% of watershed;
 Forest areas managed to support sustainable production of non-timber forest products, including mushrooms, ginseng, ground hemlock and maple syrup;
 Conserved wildlife habitats that allow native wildlife to thrive;
 Protected river systems and headwaters where forest harvesting and road building is strictly controlled to support wild Atlantic salmon rivers and spawning grounds.

Restigouche River Wilderness Waterway - CPAWS NB is inspired by the Allagash River in Maine, whose Wilderness Waterway protection plan may serve as a model for protecting the Restigouche.

CPAWS NB envisions a wide, protected corridor that includes the Crown land along the Restigouche, the Kedgwick and the Upsalquitch Rivers and links with permanent protected areas and parks. Such a corridor would ensure that the wild nature of the river is preserved – giving anglers and canoeists the chance to enjoy a healthy, vibrant, and unspoiled wild river experience.


 Write a letter or email to the Premier of New Brunswick and Minister of Natural Resources:
Premier Brian Gallant
Hon. Rick Doucet, Minister of Energy and Resource Development
P.O. Box 6000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1

 Print our information sheet or our Restigouche Ecotourism Opportunities Backgrounder and give it to groups, politicians or community leaders who might be interested.
 Invite us to speak to your group about Restigouche Wilderness Protection.
 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date on additional actions.




Restigouche Watershed Information Sheet  (English pdf) (French pdf)