The Nature Centre was a non-profit organization created in 1972 to manage public outreach and access in the Gault reserve on the Mt St-Hilaire mountain, 40 km south of Montreal. In 1978, the reserve became the first UNESCO Man and the Biosphere reserve in Canada. A financial crisis in the 1990s and changing regional conditions that affected the surroundings of the reserve led to the redefinition of the Centre’s missionin 2001. Beyond conservation and recreation, the new mission included the promotion of the conservation of the region’s natural environment. The inclusion of this new regional focus implied (1) the translation and mobilization of existing scientific knowledge about the region’s ecological situation to be used by local and regional decision-makers, (2) the development of long-term partnerships with local and regional authorities in charge of municipalities or administrative territories; (3) the creation of a development plan and multimedia tools aimed at increasing the Mountain’s emblematic value in the region. The case introduces the challenge faced in early 2006 by Marc-André Guertin, project coordinator at the Nature Centre, when he receives a contract proposal for a biodiversity assessment to be conducted in a regional municipal county located 70 km away, i.e., far out of the Centre’s usual scope of action. He is considering this decision in the broader context of the organization’s mission and the management of his team. The Epilogue (presented in Appendix 1 of the IM) presents the decision made and its implications for the organization. Key words: organizational mission, non-for-profit, conservation, ecological management, local environmental mobilization, innovation (social).
2011. Vol. 31, no 3