Manitoba Wildlands

Manitoba Protected Areas Grade 2005

Technical Assessment

July 2004 - August 31, 2005

F    The annual Manitoba protected areas grade is based on six World Wildlife Fund criteria, applied to protected areas grades across Canada since the 1990s. The Canadian Nature Federation issued the Manitoba grades from 2000 to 2003. Manitoba Wildlands now applies the grading criteria annually to Manitoba government protected area commitments and actions. Penalties and bonuses highlight successes or problems. The grade is based on Manitoba data, regulations, and commitments.

D-   1) Application of Ecological Criteria to Design, Select and Designate new protected areas. Manitoba Conservation still has not regained its capacity to design and designate protected areas to ecologically represent the province's natural region landscapes. A technical methods report is not available, for a fourth consecutive year. Arbitrary, non-transparent changes to assessment and mapping of natural region representation contradicts previous standards.

F    2) Protected Areas Strategy and Action Plan to complete protected areas system for each natural region on ecological representation basis. In 2004, the Conservation Minister renewed his commitment to the intent and ecological standards of the government Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas, and to develop a new Action Plan for 2005 and beyond. This is the third year that the Action Plan has not been updated, and the third minister to make a commitment to update it.

C    3) Protected Areas System Completion to Date** No representation data or mapping provided for new 2004/2005 protected areas. No improvement in natural region representation assessment has occurred since 2000. 8,017ha. of protected lands added to the system since the 2004 grade. **This grade is triple weighted as it assesses actual protected lands in each Manitoba natural region in relation to completion of the province's regional network of protected areas. Representation of each natural region is assessed based on the landscape types in protected areas, of sufficient size to maintain ecological integrity and sustain ecosystem functions. A 'C' grade means that one third of the province's network of protected areas is in place.

F    4) Rate of Progress in Protected Areas Designation The slow rate of protected areas establishment, especially in Manitoba's boreal forest regions, means a significant number of decisions are needed to complete Manitoba's regional network of protected areas. The rate of intended development in Manitoba's forest and taiga regions far exceeds the rate of protected areas establishment. Only one third of the job is done. Despite verbal support of the new World Heritage Site, and MOU regarding the Lowlands National Park, no action has been taken in the last year.

D-    5) Protection Standards Maintained or Extended for existing protected areas. Chitek Lake park reserve's interim protection was extended. Manigotogan River corridor is permanently protected. Two ecological reserves (ERs) were added to the system. Steps to acknowledge community pastures as protected lands have been stalled for 5 years. Purchases of Spirit Woods lands in Winnipeg were made by government, but the site is not fully protected. Little action on Areas of Special Interest, as designed by government for future protected areas.

C    6) Legislation/policies to assist private sector in protected areas establishment. Manitoba continues to identify, and recognize Nature Conservancy protected lands. An August 2005 Manitoba Naturalist Society tall grass prairie MOA, is for lands in previous grades. A public registry of all conservation easements and private protected lands is an essential tool for this criterion, as called for by WWF Canada in 1995.

  • Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas not updated
  • Manitoba Conservation letter re protected areas grade confused last grade year actions with new year, new actions
  • Cancelled working group for First Nations protected areas
  • Failure to maintain access to information under First Nations protected areas MOU
  • Alteration of natural region representation standards to improve appearance of mapped outcomes
  • Verbal only support for World Heritage Site (WHS) lands, communities, no support for community based planning
  • Failure to act on interim protection requests for WHS lands
  • Federal/provincial MOU expires without community engagement re Lowlands national park options
  • Delayed public review on park reserves to expire fall 2005
  • Failure to fulfill 2003-2004, and 2004-2005 year protected areas commitments
  • No plan to establish protected areas in boreal forest regions before hydro development, or next round of forestry licenses
  • Public claims of withdrawal from logging inside ASIs not substantiated
  • Failure to move on decisions re 10,000,000 acres Manitoba Mining sector reviewed for protected areas
  • Natural region representation unchanged since 2000
  • No technical report for ecological design, assessment for landscape and natural region representation
  • Failure to notify stakeholders of new technical products

  • Establishment of two new ecological reserves
  • Protection of Manigotagan River corridor
  • Government commitments in support of World Heritage Site
  • Government commitment to keep transmission corridors out of east side, re World Heritage Site lands
  • Continued Manitoba Mines and Geological Survey staff Ministerial support to Protected Areas, especially for technical tools, withdrawal of crown mineral rights from protected areas
Manitoba Wildlands News release

MAP 2005 Protected Areas - Manitoba

Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas page

Manitoba Wildlands World Heritage Site page

Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas Grade page