Estuary Islands National Wildlife Area Management Plan: chapter 6


6. Authorizations And prohibitions

In the interest of wildlife and their environment, human activities are minimized and controlled in National Wildlife Areas through the implementation of the Wildlife Area Regulations. These regulations set out the activities that are prohibited (subsection 3(1)) in the wildlife area and provide mechanisms for the Minister of the Environment to authorize certain activities to take place in National Wildlife Areas that are otherwise considered prohibited. The regulations also provide the authority for the Minister to prohibit entry into National Wildlife Areas.

Activities within an National Wildlife Area are authorized where notices have been posted at the entrance to or along the boundaries of the National Wildlife Area or when notices have been published in local newspapers. All activities in an National Wildlife Area are prohibited unless a notice has been posted or published authorizing the activity to take place (see example in Appendix A). However, in addition to notices, certain activities may be authorized by obtaining a permit from the Minister of the Environment.

6.1 Prohibition of entry

Under the Wildlife Area Regulations, the Minister may publish a notice in a local newspaper or post notices at the entrance of any National Wildlife Area or on the boundary of any part thereof prohibiting entry to any National Wildlife Area or its boundaries. These notices can be issued when the Minister is of the opinion that entry is a public health and safety concern or may disturb wildlife and their habitats.

Owing to the fragility of the area and the species that are found there, access to Estuary Islands National Wildlife Area is prohibited at all times, except on Le Pot du Phare, unless authorized by a permit issued by the Minister.

Notices prohibiting entry appear on signage in various locations in the area.

6.2 Authorized activities

Public access to Estuary Islands National Wildlife Area is permitted only on Le Pot du Phare, but only after the seabird nesting period, which ranges from mid-July to mid-October, and is conditional on using the transportation service provided by the agency authorized by Environment Canada. Visitors must comply with all other restrictions unless they hold a permit issued by the Minister.

The following activities are authorized only on Le Pot du Phare: accommodating visitors, nature interpretation and observation, hiking, photography, and picnicking in designated locations. These activities are permitted only on the paths on Le Pot du Phare and at the facilities and infrastructure provided for that purpose, such as look-outs and service areas, and only during authorized periods. In addition, eiderdown collection by certain conservation organizations is authorized under a commercial permit issued by Environment Canada.

Other activities

Any activity, other than those permitted on Le Pot du Phare, is prohibited in the National Wildlife Area, including hunting, camping, hiking, photography and picnicking.

A notice specifying the types of activities permitted in Estuary Islands National Wildlife Area was published in local newspapers in 2011 (see Appendix A).

Note: If there is a discrepancy between the information presented in this document and the notice, the notice prevails as it is the legal instrument authorizing the activity.

6.3 Authorizations

Permits and notices authorizing an activity may be issued if the Minister is of the opinion that the activity is scientific research relating to wildlife or habitat conservation; or the activity benefits wildlife and their habitats or will contribute to wildlife conservation; or the activity is not inconsistent with the purpose for which the National Wildlife Area was established and is consistent with this management plan.

The Minister may also add terms and conditions to permits in order to minimize the impact of an activity on wildlife and wildlife habitats.

All requests for permits or authorizations must be made (in writing or online) to the following address:

National Wildlife Area - Permit Request
Environment Canada
Canadian Wildlife Service
Quebec Region
801-1550 d’Estimauville Avenue
E-mail: permisSCFQuebec@ec.gc.ca

For further information, please consult the Policy when Considering Permitting or Authorizing Prohibited Activities in Protected Areas Designated under the Canada Wildlife Act and Migratory Bird Convention Act, 1994 (December 2011). This Environment Canada policy document is available on the Protected Areas website.

6.4 Exceptions

The following activities will be exempt from the requirements for permitting and authorizations:

  • Activities related to public safety, health or national security, that are authorized by or under another Act of Parliament, or activities that are authorized under the Health of Animals Act and the Plant Protection Act to protect the health of animals and plants;
  • Activities related to routine maintenance of National Wildlife Areas, to the implementation of management plans, and enforcement activities conducted by an officer or employee of Environment Canada.

6.5 Other federal and provincial authorizations

Depending on the type of activity, other federal or provincial permits or authorizations may be required to undertake an activity in this National Wildlife Area. For more information, please contact the regional office of the appropriate federal or provincial authority.

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