François Chapleau concluded that biodiversity has been sacrificed to sport-fisherpersons during a presentation to the 2008 Friends’ Research Forum and in this discerning article. In a study that spanned more than a dozen years, northern pike and small mouth bass – introduced fish eaters – had and continue to have an impact in some of the fifty lakes located in Gatineau Park. Where introduced, there is a decrease, if not loss of other species.
Michel Prévost reported on covered bridges in West Quebec, including two located in the park – Meech Valley and at the entrance to Lac Philippe Sector. Before the 1997 rebuilding of the Wakefield Bridge, the latter was the last covered bridge built in the area (1958). Prévost’s informative study also provided those in attendance at the 2010 Friends’ Research Forum and the reader a history of the construction and preservation of covered bridges as a context for why Park visitors should treasure these two examples of this disappearing constructed heritage in our region.
Marilyn Light and Michael MacConaill summarized a 26 year study of wild orchids found in the park during the 2010 Friends’ Research Forum and in this enlightened submission. While there are over 40 species within the park, they report on the helleborine orchid, a commonly seen specie. Marilyn and Michael reminded us that the environment of the Park, particularly its wetlands are relatively fragile. Human visitation can lead to soil compaction, resultant changes to the soil community and potential loss of vulnerable species. They call upon us to stay on established paths, leaving the surrounding environment undisturbed.