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Lowlands National Park Timeline
View 2005 - Current
- Discussion begins about Lowlands national park
- First scientific studies
in the Manitoba Lowlands region, undertaken by Parks Canada.
- National park discussion languishes
- Possible location on east side of Lake Winnipeg - Atikaki Wilderness park
- later designated by Manitoba.
- 1992 - Helca provincial park identified as possible national park.
- 1993 - WWF Canada Endangered Spaces coordinators meet in Winnipeg,
successfully lobby Canada and Manitoba to sign an MOU to do a feasibility
study, and jointly work to establish a new national park in the
Manitoba Lowlands. The MOU also confirms Manitoba's responsibility
to represent the
larger parks Canada region with additional provincial protected
- Interim protection for Wapusk
Wildlife Management Area, at Hudson Bay. Consultations and negotiations for Wapusk
national park underway.
- 1994 - Feasibility study contracted for 3 candidate study areas; Limestone Bay, Long Point, and the Black & Deere Island complex.
- 1996 - Results of feasibility study released. Portions of Long
Point, Limestone, and Black & Deere Islands identified as candidates.
Manitoba and Canadian governments release boundaries jointly. Manitoba
commits to not
issue industrial permits within the candidate sites.
- CNF and WWF
Canada release joint report, which assesses the national park candidates/boundaries
against ecological representation requirements.
- Agreement for Wapusk national park signed, with affected First Nations witnessing the agreement.
- 1997 - Manitoba Parks Act (1993) is proclaimed, regulations to
upgrade protected status of parks lands enacted. Black & Deere Island,
as part of Hecla-Grindstone provincial park, protected from development.
- 1998 - First Nations Protected Areas MOU signed by Manitoba government
land use Ministers & First Nation Grand Chiefs. MOU provides standards
for consultations and First Nation community role in 'identification,
establishment, and management' of protected areas.
- Manitoba mining sector protected
areas consultation assesses the Lowlands national park candidate boundaries.
Mining industry supports candidates for protected status. Mining industry consultation
also supports Skownan First Nation nomination for protected land at Chitek Lake.
- 1999 - Chitek Lake Park Reserve (protected from development) is
established south of Long Point, based on nomination by Skownan
First Nation under First Nations Protected Areas MOU.
- Manitoba government places interim protection on Long Point candidate. Protection lapses due to lack of First Nation support.
- CNF and WWF
Canada re-assess Lowlands national park candidates, and release a second joint
report, which includes recommendations for appropriate steps to achieve interim
protection. Report includes detailed ecological assessment, and gap analysis
for both the Parks Canada region and Manitoba's natural regions.
- 2000 - Throughout the 1990s, WWF Canada and the CNF identify establishment of the Lowlands national park as essential, based on community support. This was reflected in annual Endangered Spaces grades issued by WWF Canada.
- Mineral exploration permits east of the Limestone candidate boundary are significantly lessened in size.
- Wapusk national park lands are transferred to federal lands; park is listed under Canada Parks Act.
- 2002 - In fall 2002, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien pledges to finish Canada's national park system. The Manitoba Lowlands national park is identified as being among the top ten national parks to be established in Canada.
- In September 2002, Manitoba
pledges to establish the Manitoba Lowlands national park.
- 2004 - In March 2004, the governments of Canada and Manitoba sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) respecting the establishment of a national park in the Interlake region of Manitoba.
- The MOU commits the two governments to work together to conclude consultations and negotiations for a national park establishment agreement by May 2005.
- The governments also commit to ensuring the involvement of affected Aboriginal people and local communities in negotiating the national park establishment agreement.
- In April 2004, Parks Canada releases the Parks Canada Corporate Plan 2004-2009. The Plan states that Parks Canada will work with the Government of Manitoba to achieve a park establishment agreement by March 2006.
- In September 2004, the Cedar Lake Community Futures Development Corporation releases a study of the economic impacts of the proposed national park. The report is entitled Economic Impact Study: Proposed National Park - Manitoba Northern Interlake Region Final Report (August 31, 2004 by Hilderman Thomas Frank and Cram and The Outspan Group Inc.)
- On September 30, 2004 the Government of Manitoba extends the interim protected status of Chitek Lake Park Reserve until September 30, 2009 (Regulation 182/2004 (PDF) of the Provincial Parks Act.) The Chitek Lake Park Reserve lands are adjacent to the Manitoba Lowlands National Park Proposal.