News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

July 30, 2008

MANITOBA AND ONTARIO TO ESTABLISH CANADA'S FIRST INTERPROVINCIAL WILDERNESS AREA



Ontario and Manitoba will develop a unique new way for provinces to co-operate both on conserving valuable natural habitat and ensuring proper recreation use into the future with the establishment of Canada’s first interprovincial wilderness area, Manitoba Conservation Minister Stan Struthers and Ontario Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield announced today.
 
Manitoba also released the management plan for Atikaki Provincial Park and the Bloodvein Canadian Heritage River, which is a key contribution toward land-use planning required as part of the work underway for the UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination, said Struthers.
 
“In addition to marking another milestone in our march toward a World Heritage Site designation for the pristine boreal forest on the east side of Lake Winnipeg and northwest Ontario, this interprovincial wilderness area is a unique approach that recognizes that neither wildlife habitat, ecosystems migration patterns nor protected areas should be restricted by provincial borders,” he said.
 
“By partnering with Manitoba to create a protected Interprovincial Wilderness Area, Ontario is building on our efforts to protect the Far North boreal region,” said Cansfield. “With Manitoba, we will work with nearby First Nations, the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Project and other local communities to enhance the conservation of this remarkable area.” 
 
This new wilderness area lies along both provincial borders and covers more than 9,400 square kilometres. The protected area includes Woodland Caribou Provincial Park and the Eagle-Snowshoe Conservation Reserve in Ontario and Atikaki Provincial Park and parts of Nopiming Provincial Park in Manitoba.
 
The ministers said Manitoba and Ontario are committed to working together with the primary areas of co-operation being joint resource management, research projects, marketing and developing recreational opportunities.  They said this  new partnership will lead to significant developments that include:
·         laying the groundwork for the creation of a UNESCO world heritage site that would put the forest in the same standing with a list of well-known sites such as the Pyramids of Giza, Great Barrier Reef, Taj Mahal and Grand Canyon;  
·         protecting threatened wildlife and valuable ecosystems on a broader scale that takes into account issues such as habitat management and wildlife migration patterns which aren’t encumbered by existing provincial borders; and
·         ensuring Ontarians and Manitobans continue to enjoy these unique, wild areas by maintaining and enhancing tourism and recreation opportunities in a co-operative, strategic way.
 
The Interprovincial Wilderness Area is of national ecological importance and provides an important link between the eastern and western boreal forests. It also represents significant habitat for species at risk such as Canada’s woodland caribou.  It also contains many world-class canoe routes including the Bloodvein, Pigeon and Bird rivers.
 
A map of the area, background document and copy of the memorandum of understanding that is being signed is available at www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/ipwa/index.html.
 
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