It’s a big victory for conservationists and many residents in Pincourt after town council voted in favour of preserving the Rousseau Forest Tuesday night.
The decision means developers can’t bring in the chainsaws or bulldozers to start preparing the land for housing.
Council voted in favour of protecting the green space following the release of an independent report that concludes the forest is of significant ecological value.
“We know we’re not quite out of the woods yet because we still have to wait for the city to deal with the developer itself,” Denise Goudreau, who lives next to the Rousseau Forest, told Global News.
Citizens are elated, she added. They have been leading the fight to preserve the forest for more than two years.
“I need the green,” said Yves Legault, who lives in the area. “I need the trees.”
The forest is 4.1 hectares in size, the equivalent of almost eight football fields. It’s bordered by the Outaouais River and residential streets like Duhamel Road lined with family homes.
The wooded area is zoned for residential use and most of it is owned by real estate promoters.
The mayor of Pincourt was not available to comment. A town spokesperson wrote in an email that the town will evaluate future options for the property while respecting the will of council to protect the forest.