• Happy Red Planet Day! 🚀🛰️

Sepaq takes over management of Canoe Camping La Vérendre.

Joined
Jan 31, 2013
Messages
360
Reaction score
140
Location
In the mountains North of Montreal.
This is a translation of an article that appeared this morning in the French-speaking Montreal newspaper La Presse Plus.

Reserve La Verendrye A worrying change Marie Tison The Press A few weeks ago, SEPAQ announced that it was taking over the management of canoe-camping reservations at La Vérendrye wildlife reserve. This sector is very popular with enthusiasts of this activity and the news has worried some. Explanations. Will the Society of Outdoor Establishments of Quebec (SEPAQ) gradually abandon the large circuits intended for experienced canoeists? Will it increase ready-to-camp and other glamping facilities? SEPAQ wanted to be reassuring. "We don't want to distort this activity, it's a winning formula," says company spokesperson Simon Boivin. We just want to make the activity more accessible, to highlight it so that it benefits outdoor lovers. » Previously, Canot Kayak Québec managed canoe-camping reservations at La Vérendrye wildlife reserve, which included boat rentals. Release pressure Marc-André Pauzé, photographer and great outdoor enthusiast, discussed the situation with other canoe-camping enthusiasts and wrote a letter to SEPAQ and Canot Kayak Québec to express all of their concerns. More than 540 people have co-signed this missive. They fear in particular that SEPAQ will abandon the large tours of seven to ten days to focus on the small tours of two or three days, which are very popular with less experienced and thus more profitable customers. Simon Boivin argued that there was no question of ruling out long journeys. “Our idea is to facilitate access to the territory in order to take the pressure off certain sectors that are currently too busy, i.e. the places located near the current rental center,” he says. In particular, it is a question of adding at least one other rental site, and thus facilitating access to a larger territory. SEPAQ also intends to offer a shuttle service for certain routes. Mr. Pauzé particularly liked the flexibility of the system in place, which facilitated the organization of courses in the hinterland. “What people who practice canoe-camping more intensely appreciate about the La Vérendrye reserve is that there is very little infrastructure. » — Marc-André Pauzé, photographer and outdoor enthusiast "We're really going into the wilderness, you have to know how it works, a map, a compass, you have to know how to manage your time on an expedition," he said in an interview. “Commodification” of the outdoors He believes that the situation is very different in most SEPAQ parks, which he says are succumbing to a “commodification” of the outdoors. “It is as if we were transforming the wilderness into amusement parks. The forest is a natural setting: it is very beautiful, but we see more and more infrastructures being set up. And this, to the detriment of the wild nature and the experience that one can live there. » Experienced canoe-campers also fear that SEPAQ will force them to determine in advance each of the campsites they intend to use during their expedition. “It is not compatible with an expedition of seven or ten days, maintains Mr. Pauzé. At the limit, it is dangerous: we would thus force people to move in the hinterland when the situation might not be conducive to that. Crossing a large lake in high winds... you better stay where you are and wait for it to pass. » Once again, Simon Boivin wanted to reassure people. “The system remains the same. You choose a circuit of x days, but within this circuit, you have the freedom to sleep on the site you want. There are plenty of places you can stop. » Simon Boivin affirms that SEPAQ and Canot Kayak Québec have modified their partnership by mutual agreement and that the organization will retain an advisory role. “Everyone’s expertise is put to better use,” he says. We manage the reservations, that's what we do. They have a sensitivity as to what canoeists want to do, or how things can be arranged. » “A change often leads to anxiety. We understand it. It starts from an attachment to the territory that we share. We are aware and sensitive to the concern these people have, ”said Mr. Boivin.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
4,037
Reaction score
1,905
Location
Appleton, Maine
Thanks, Gerald,
I want to believe this will be good for canoe tripping in La Verendrye but I have no idea. I never had a problem with the way it was run in the past, most of my trips I rarely saw anyone, just paid the fees and hit the trail.
The folks at Canot Kayak Québec (Le Domaine) were very nice, the building where you buy your permits and last-minute gear were like old friends, hopefully, that remains the same.
I think Sepaq has run the hunting and motorboat/RV camping part of the reserve in the past, I would worry that they might want to expand that with more access for them at the expense of canoe trippers.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
261
Reaction score
216
Location
Godmanchester, Quebec
I hope they are bringing the Domaine into the fold because Sepaq itself is oblivious to backcountry canoe camping. They're geared toward selling complete packages to urbanites - like cabin rental with boat, motor, and fishing rights for the weekend. I spoke to a bunch of them at an outdoors show a few years back about backcountry canoe camping and I got deer-in-the-headlights looks all around. Best case scenario (from this pessimist) is that there will be a lot of fumbling around this year until they figure things out. I'd be happy to eat crow on that.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
Messages
12
Reaction score
52
Location
Richmond, VT
Hopefully they limit their typical campground format to a small section of the park near the road with reservable sites within a portage or two at most. Le Domaine didn’t do reservations, but they do limit how many parties are on each circuit. Hopefully Sepaq will only reserve those circuit slots instead of individual sites. The best thing about Le Vérendrye is the lack of amenities! There’s always the Arctic, I guess...
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
560
Reaction score
396
Location
Bangor, Maine
Drat. "...facilitate access to the territory in order to take the pressure off certain sectors that are currently too busy..." The wilderness is wilderness because it's hard to access.

LV has been on my list for a few years, hope it's still worth it when I get up there.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
521
Reaction score
199
I am distressed by this also. LV holds a special place in my heart.
 
Top