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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, much of the watershed is unprotected from development, 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.

Our Vision

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.

***In July 2022, the Government of New Brunswick designated 84 new protected areas including sites along the Restigouche, Patapedia, Kedgewick and Upsalquitch rivers, giving more protection to nature and wildlife of the watershed.***


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 provincial Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture held public consultation meetings and roundtables in the fall of 2019 to discuss potential Restigouche Wilderness Waterway conservation and management with communities, stakeholders and rights holders. To read the Province’s Public Response Report, released in 2021, see here.

Un rapport rendu public résume les commentaires du public sur la gestion du bassin versant de la rivière Restigouche et démontre que celui-ci bénéficie du soutien de la population pour sa conservation et sa protection.” Ce rapport est disponible en ligne.