Lac-Saint-Jean Model Forest

Country: Canada
Location: Quebec, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
Area: 1,254,275 ha
Member since: 2007
Regional affiliation: Canadian Model Forest Network 


Name: Marie-Claude Gautier, Director General
Address: 1771 Amishk St. 
Mashteuiatsh, QC G0W 2H0
Telephone: 418-275-5386, ext. 392
Email address:

Forest resources

In the heart of the great Canadian boreal forest, the Lac-Saint-Jean Model Forest territory is northeast of Lac-Saint-Jean in the province of Quebec. Tenure of the territory includes the following:

  • Public land (non-organized and municipal territory)
  • Exclusive trapping rights for the Conseil des Montagnais of Lac-Saint-Jean on the Roberval beaver reserve
  • Forest supply and management contracts with forest industry companies (TSFMA)(AbitibiBowater, Louisiana Pacific Canada and other beneficiaries)
  • Exclusive hunting and fishing rights on structured territories 
  • Ashuapmushuan wildlife reserve, Zec de la Rivière-aux-Rats, Zec des Passes, Zec de la Lièvre, Pourvoirie Damville and Domaine Poutrincourt, Corporation l’Activité Pêche
  • Proposed Ashuapmushuan river aquatic reserve
  • Leases for forest/blueberry type blueberry fields, resort leases, recreational trails, etc. 

Economic profile

Our region is the largest forest region in Quebec with 23% of the province’s allowable cut. In addition, 65 % of the population represented by the LSJMF is extremely dependent on the forest. Historically, the forest enabled people to develop cities and towns and to shape the identity of our communities in a natural way. Although the forest must continue to supply forest sector businesses, other methods of use and development must be introduced. 

Why a Model Forest?

The forest industry crisis has made us begin to feel the need to diversify our use of the forest. Good integrated resource management will therefore allow us to conserve biodiversity and to continue to live off the forest.

The LSJMF territory is also part of the Maria-Chapdelaine RCM, the Domaine-du-Roy RCM and the Nitassinan (traditional ancestral territory) of the Montagnais (First Nations Ilnu) of Lac-Saint-Jean. The key theme of the LSJMF was based on the number of different users of the forest on this territory: harmonization of uses of the forest.

Furthermore, an agreement in principle was concluded between the Government of Canada and the First Nations Ilnu of Mashteuiatsh, transferring them management of the Ashuapmushuan wildlife reserve.


  • 44% Canadian Forest Service
  • 22% Conseil des Montagnais du Lac-Saint-Jean (First Nations)
  • 17% Maria-Chapdelaine RCM (municipal amalgamation)
  • 17% Domaine-du-Roy RCM (municipal amalgamation) 

Strategic objectives 

  • To create the “forest industry” and thereby give importance to all forest resources
  • To diversify the use of resources and create forest industry jobs
  • To improve sustainable livelihoods for forest-dependent communities by improving
  • To develop sustainable and integrated management of forest resources and thus develop forest (timber and non-timber), heritage (natural and cultural), tourist and wildlife resources and preserve biodiversity
  • To organize, collect and share information through local, regional and international networking with the CMFN and the IMFN
  • To create a feeling of belonging in the communities represented by the LSJMF and get them involved in LSJMF activities


Five working groups have been formed to carry out the 14 projects in progress. All of the projects began in February 2008.

Sustainable livelihoods

  • Multi-disciplinary training program for forest environment workers
  • Skills have progressed and the course program has been developed
  • Aboriginal forest entrepreneurship: the case of the Ilnu community of Mashteuiatsh
  • Performance indicators of the sustainability of forest communities
  • Survey: research needs based on the concerns of the Lac-Saint-Jean Model Forest partner communities 

Timber forest resources

  • Studies on forest biomass development opportunities
  • Degraded and unproductive sites within the territory of the Lac-Saint-Jean Model Forest
  • Trial of Bracke Forest AB’s “Planter P11a”: testing on the productivity of the planter is in progress

Non-timber forest resources

  • Inventory of potential for harvesting forest fungi
  • Harvesting and processing of silver birch sap
  • Network of collective blueberry fields in boreal forests laid out according to the forest/blueberry concept – phase 1 

Wildlife resources and biodiversity

  • Territory zoning to improve moose hunt management on the Ashuapmushuan wildlife reserve
  • Species at risk and specific habitats within the territory of the Lac-Saint-Jean Model Forest
  • Marketing undesirable aquatic species
  •  Forest/blueberry management:  an acceptable habitat for the Connecticut warbler (two master’s degrees)