Quebec creates huge new protected area for caribou in province's north

QUEBEC - Environmental groups are celebrating the Quebec government's announcement of a huge new protected area intended to preserve caribou habitat in the province's north.

The province says it will create a 10,000-square kilometre protected area in the Montagnes Blanche area about 700 kilometres north of Montreal.

The region is on the edge of Quebec's commercial forest and is not expected to affect logging operations.

The area was one of the measures outlined in the province's 2013 caribou recovery plan.

It is home to old-growth boreal forest and hundreds of caribou.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is currently evaluating provincial measures to protect caribou habitat to determine if they live up to federal legislation.

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