Upper Harricana Reserve

Mineral exploration, prospecting, digging or boring activities that require stripping, trenching, excavating or tree cutting may be carried out under certain conditions in the Upper Harricana aquatic reserve.


  • Activities are prohibited in the Rivière Harricana itself, on islands, as well as within a strip of land 50 metres wide on either side of the river. The 50-metre distance is calculated horizontally from the shoreline traced on 1:20,000 scale topographic NTS base maps of Québec.
  • Activities are allowed in the area between 50 and 200 metres from the shore; these distances are calculated horizontally from the shoreline of the river. They are also permitted below the river bed, provided they are carried out under a thickness of more than 50 metres of rock.
  • Activities are carried out by or for the benefit of a person entitled to perform mineral exploration in the reserve, to carry out prospecting, digging or boring in accordance with the provisions of the Mining Act.
  • Whenever tree cutting is required, activities must be performed in accordance with provisions in sections 20 and 21 of the Forest Act.
  • Activities must be carried out in accordance with environmental standards in effect. The person who performs exploration activities must:
    • recover drilling muds;
    • make sure that no petroleum products spill into the environment;
    • install a protective lining to avoid spills of hazardous materials;
    • make sure that all refuse, other than sediments, muds and scraps generated by the work, be stored, processed or eliminated outside of the reserve.
  • For pumping needs, if the water intake is located more than 200 metres from the work site, water may be pumped from the Rivière Harricana, under the following conditions:
    • have written authorization from the minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change;
    • install, under the pump, a protective lining to prevent potential spills of petroleum products;
    • comply with authorization conditions set by the minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change in order to minimize environmental impacts.

Futhermore, all mineral and oil & gas extraction activities are prohibited in the Upper Harricana aquatic reserve.