Archived News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 26, 2015

Province Releases Protected Areas Strategy Which Takes Steps to Further Protect Wildlife, Wetlands, Lakes, Forests

The Manitoba government has released Places to Keep – Manitoba’s Protected Areas Strategy in order to protect the environment and will also designate a new protected area and the expansion of an existing area, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Tom Nevakshonoff announced today.

“Manitobans love their great lakes and wildlife, and we need to do all we can to protect the environment,” said Minister Nevakshonoff.  “We want to ensure that a balance is struck between prosperous and healthy communities, and the protection of boreal ecosystems in partnership with northern communities and Indigenous people.”

In launching this plan, Manitoba is adding the Red Deer Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and an expansion to Lake Winnipegosis Salt Flats Ecological Reserve as protected areas, increasing the area of the province protected to now over 11 per cent.  The minister noted the Red Deer WMA captures a large, relatively pristine wetland landscape including globally rare inland salt flats supporting rare plants, marine invertebrates and salt-loving bacteria.

The Lake Winnipegosis Salt Flats Ecological Reserve addition includes the only known example of a long inland saline shoreline in Manitoba and supports plant species otherwise found only along Hudson Bay.  Both sites provide habitat for threatened and endangered species.  The designations will add approximately 94,000 hectares to Manitoba’s network of protected areas.

“We’ve been working with the Manitoba government on this project for many years, helping them by providing information on wetlands, waterfowl and other unique features,” said Greg Siekaniec, CEO, Ducks Unlimited Canada.  “It is gratifying to see these ecologically significant habitats protected.”

“The new protected areas announced today are valuable steps in the quest to conserve Manitoba’s spectacular biodiversity,” said Ron Thiessen, executive director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Manitoba chapter.  “It’s been a pleasure to work with the province on a strategy that commits to meeting the international target of protecting 17 per cent of Manitoba by 2020.  We look forward to our continued efforts with the Manitoba government, Indigenous communities and stakeholders to achieve this marker.”

The minister said protected areas are the surest and most economical way to protect wildlife populations, maintain natural cycles and safeguard pristine areas.  These areas are important for research, education and ecological services providing benchmarks to help monitor the sustainable development of mineral, petroleum and other natural resources, he noted.

Minister Nevakshonoff said in addition to increasing the amount of land protected, Places to Keep – Manitoba’s Protected Areas Strategy moves Manitoba closer to meeting the target of designating 15 more parks while protecting an additional 6 percent of the province, more ecological reserves, and expanding wildlife management areas or other protected areas by 2020.  

Increasing the number of protected areas and the amount of area protected are key commitments made in TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan and Building the Parks Province:  Manitoba’s Parks Strategy and is also a major priority in Manitoba’s efforts to combat climate change and preserve Manitoba’s environment for years to come.

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