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Conservation Mission


The human history of the park begins with the aboriginal peoples, whose presence in the area has been traced back several thousand years. Whalers were the first Europeans to make contact with the Natives, followed by Jacques Cartier in 1535. From 1628 to 1842, the Saguenay economy was based almost exclusively on the fur trade.

Then, starting in 1838, the area slowly began to open up to settlement. This marked the beginning of a period of intense resource extraction in the Lower Saguenay, but settlers remained few in number. Although every small bay along the fjord had its own sawmill at some point between 1840 and 1920, the decline of the lumber industry, the depletion of the pine forests, and the rugged terrain hindered extensive development of the region. The challenging geography and the difficult economic times of the early 20th century helped keep the future park in a wild, largely unspoiled state.

Starting in the 1970s, the Québec government began to acquire land in view of protecting the fjord. However, it was not until the fall of 1982 that the government held public hearings on the vocation, boundaries, zonage, and design concept for the new park. Following the hearings, it continued to acquire sites of significant public interest in order to bring them together and protect them in the form of a park. The park was officially created on June 8, 1983, and designated a conservation park, the fourth of its kind in the provincial network. It represents an important part of Québec's natural heritage and is recognized for the exceptional presence of a fjord at this latitude.

In 1984, the governments of Québec and France signed an agreement twinning the park with Cévennes National Park in France's central mountains. The agreement reflected a mutual interest on the part of park administrators and local residents in both jurisdictions to join forces to protect the natural and cultural heritage of both parks.

The first visitor facilities for park users were completed at Baie Éternité at the time of the park's creation. Additional facilities were added at Baie-de-Tadoussac in 1991, then at Baie-Sainte-Marguerite in 2000.


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