A local environmental group is seeking a ban on peat mining in Manitoba.
This morning, the Wilderness Committee will deliver more than 830 letters to Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh backing its cause. The group said thousands of Manitobans have also contacted the government, objecting to a planned peat strip mine in Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park.
The province has been reviewing the park mine proposal for at least a year.
Eric Reder, campaign director for the Wilderness Committee, said peat mining negatively affects water quality by releasing sediment into streams and creeks feeding Lake Winnipeg. The mining of peat also releases a tremendous storehouse of carbon, which contributes to climate change, he said.
"People are concerned about our water and our climate," said Reder said. "Manitobans see a solution to these looming environmental disasters, and banning peat mining is part of it."
On the shores of Lake Winnipeg, there are currently two outstanding peat licence appeals awaiting decisions. There are also two new peat licence applications awaiting decisions, including one in Hecla / Grindstone Provincial Park. The government stated it would make a decision on these peat licences in the fall of 2012.