Canadian Nature Federation

Manitoba Wildlands Campaign Office
412-63 Albert Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 1G4
Phone : 204-944-9593 Fax: 204-947-3076 E-mail:

Manitoba Protected Areas Grade Drops
Province Led the Country Last Year

May 18, 2001

The Manitoba Government today received a grade of C - for its efforts during the last year to establish and maintain protected areas*. Issued by the Canadian Nature Federation (CNF), this year's grade uses the same standards and criteria as World Wildlife Fund Canada Endangered Spaces Campaign. The grade assesses Manitoba's actions on government policy and their commitments for creation of a network of protected areas representing our province's natural regions.

Last spring the World Wildlife Fund Canada grade for Manitoba was B, with new park reserves and other lands protected from development. Last summer Manitoba led all other Canadian jurisdictions for total lands protected during the ten-year Endangered Spaces Campaign (l990's). This year Manitoba protected several small park reserves, each of which was supported or nominated by a First Nation (see technical assessment criteria # 2).

In the Budget Address of April 2001, the Manitoba government said it was a leader in protection of boreal forest lands and committed to "setting aside boreal forest lands". Manitoba's forest natural regions are significant for their lack of protected lands, as previous Protected Areas grade assessments have noted. Exceptions include new park reserves created in l999 and 2000.

CNF Wildlands Campaign Director for Manitoba, Gaile Whelan Enns reported: "There are significant outstanding protected areas decisions for our forest regions. These include the Lowlands national park components, which have been waiting for interim protection since l996. Decisions for protected areas have slowed, while development intentions are speeding up in Manitoba's forest regions."

The Manitoba government has a new Action Plan for A Network of Protected Areas, and has renewed protocols for consultations. There are over 130 sites in the province under review for protected status.

Gaile Whelan Enns indicated: "The Manitoba government is at risk of losing track of its conservation and environmental commitments. Manitobans want to see protected areas established. They know that when we protect the landscape, species habitat, ecological services, and the future economy of our province are also protected. Manitobans understand the need and the benefits."

"We need to see a concentrated protected areas effort in the coming year. Park Reserves are waiting for permanent protection. Priority areas under review and consultation cannot wait. Conservation and protection of our natural heritage must come before significant new development in the same landscapes."

* Technical assessment attached. Any late or further decisions will be applied to the 2002 Protected Areas grade.

Gaile Whelan Enns, Manitoba Wildlands Campaign Coordinator
(204) 947-3400