Mining peat in lake’s watershed opposed
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/01/2012 (4147 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
COTTAGERS and environmentalists are demanding the province reject applications for licences to mine peat in the Lake Winnipeg watershed.
“Let’s make sure we’re not doing things to make the problems in Lake Winnipeg worse,” said Vicki Burns, co-ordinator of the Lake Winnipeg Project, which is privately funded by a few foundations.
Several mine operators have applied to the Manitoba government for a licence to mine 15,000 hectares of peat along PR 234 from the Washow Bay area to Pine Dock, the Little Deer Cottage Association says. In a press release, the cottagers said they fear wildlife habitats will be disturbed and lost and water quality in Lake Winnipeg will be affected when the boreal peat bogs are drained. The sediment and chemical runoff into Lake Winnipeg will increase algae blooms and affect fish stocks, the cottagers say.
No one from Manitoba Conservation was available to comment Sunday.
Burns is encouraging anyone who cares about Lake Winnipeg to attend a meeting at the Manitoba Eco Network Wednesday at 5 p.m. about mining the peatlands. The meeting is on the third floor at 303 Portage Ave.
“It’s a very, very important issue,” she said. “It’s about getting serious about protecting Lake Winnipeg and doing something about greenhouse-gas emissions,” she said.
Burns said there is no doubt that peat mining nearby will add extra nutrients to the water. “We don’t know how much, but we do know the province has made a commitment to cut nutrients by 50 per cent,” she said.
She said she’s not sure why the province would consider approving licences to mine peat when there’s potentially more harm than benefit to Manitoba.
She cited one study that found the royalties to the Crown per hectare of peat mined worked out to $6 a year, and that the whole mining project would rake in less that $200,000 for the province.
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.