The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Manitoba conservation groups call for more protected areas in boreal forest

  • Print

WINNIPEG - Two environmental groups are calling for more protection of the boreal forest in northern Manitoba which they describe as an important animal habitat and key protector of water quality.

A report by Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Boreal Songbird Initiative calls for 50 per cent of the forest to be protected from development. It suggests the other half could be developed cautiously with an eye to ecosystem protection.

"We know that development is definitely going to take place and we're not saying, 'Hey, halt development,'" said Christopher Smith of Ducks Unlimited.

"There's still lots of room for development, but there's also lots of room to consider protection as well."

The forest has attracted international attention because it's mostly intact and it's huge. At 570,000 square kilometres, it's larger than countries such as Sweden. The federal government, along with Manitoba and Ontario, is trying to get a large swath of the forest along the interprovincial boundary recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.

The forest is an important habitat for caribou, birds and other animals, the report says, and acts as a natural filter for water. The region's wetlands retain nitrogen and phosphorus from rivers that flow into Lake Winnipeg and other large bodies of water.

There has been limited development in the area, but more is on the horizon. An all-season road is being built along the east side of Lake Winnipeg to replace winter roads, and another is being contemplated further north between Churchill and the Northwest Territories.

Manitoba Hydro is developing new generating stations and there are mining possibilities.

The report applauds recent moves by the Manitoba government. About 12 per cent of the region is firmly protected, Smith said, and more areas are to be soon.

The province is planning a new provincial park to protect polar bear denning areas along Hudson Bay. It has also worked with First Nations communities to develop land-use plans to promote conservation.

"There are some really positive signs (from) the government and we're just saying, 'Let's keep this momentum as we go forward,'" Smith said.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jaws of life used to free two people after two-car collision

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A water lily in full bloom is reflected in the pond at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden Tuesday afternoon. Standup photo. Sept 11,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should confessions extracted through Mr. Big police stings be admissible in court?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google