Manitoba Wildlands

Manitoba Protected Areas Grade 2007

Technical Assessment     C-

October 1, 2006 - November 14, 2007 The annual Manitoba protected areas grade is based on six World Wildlife Fund criteria, applied to Manitoba protected areas since 1992. Manitoba Wildlands releases the grade annually to assess protected areas commitments and actions. Penalty and bonus points highlight successes or problems. The grade is based on Government of Manitoba data, regulations, public policy, and protected areas commitments.

D   1) Application of Ecological Criteria to Design, Select and Designate new protected areas. Manitoba Conservation is not designing and designating protected areas that ecologically represent Manitoba's natural regions. A technical methods report is not available for the sixth consecutive year. New protected areas are falling short in comparison to the options available to represent landscapes and natural regions.

F    2) Protected Areas Strategy and Action Plan to complete protected areas system for each natural region. In 2004, the Conservation Minister renewed his commitment to the intent and ecological standards of Manitoba's Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas, and to develop a new Action Plan. The new Action Plan has still not been provided. Over 70 candidate sites are stuck in the system, without decisions.

C    3) Protected Areas System Completion to Date** Although 6,191 ha of protected lands were added to the system since the 2006 grade, 15,152 ha were removed this year, resulting in a net loss of 8,961 ha. **This criterion is triple weighted to assess actual protected lands for each natural region based on what is needed to complete Manitoba's network of protected areas. A 'C' grade means one third of Manitoba's protected areas are in place. See Manitoba Wildlands' protected areas audit.

F    4) Rate of Progress in Protected Areas Designation The slow rate of protected areas establishment, especially in Manitoba's boreal forest regions, means many decisions are needed to complete Manitoba's regional networks of protected areas. Manitoba's government needs to embrace 'Conservation First' decision making to protect our lands and waters. Despite verbal support for the east side World Heritage Site no action to protect these lands has been taken since 2004.

D    5) Protection Standards Maintained or Extended Action since 2006 Protected Areas Grade:
  • Government announcements this year implied that lands were protected, where protection standards not in place
  • New - Little Limestone Lake Park Reserve
  • New - Ducks Unlimited lands formally protected (Mines Act regulation)
  • Expansion of lands protected in: Beaudry Park, Grand Island Park Reserve, Nopiming Park, Whitemouth Falls Park
  • Renewal of: Goose Island, Grand Island, Kinwow Bay, Pelican Islands, Pemmican Island, Sturgeon Bay, Walter Cook Caves Park Reserves
  • Loss of protection: East Paint Lake Park Reserve, now part of Paint Lake Provincial Park, no protected lands
  • Small adjustment inside Poplar/Nanowin Rivers park reserve for other uses

B    6) Legislation/policies to assist private sector in protected areas establishment. Manitoba continues to identify, and recognize privately held protected lands. Lands held by Ducks Unlimited were protected this year. A public registry of all conservation easements and private protected lands was called for by WWF Canada in 1995, and still does not exist. Only lands where technical information provided included in grade. City of Winnipeg Memorandum of Agreement has potential to bring significant lands into 2008 grade.

  • Net loss of protected lands in Manitoba for 2007
  • Lack of a public protected areas strategy
  • Current methods, data, and basis for representation of regions not available, previous standards being avoided
  • Lack of transparency on review of candidates for protection
  • Late regulations and survey maps
  • Fall-down on consultation models for protected areas in Manitoba: mines sector, First Nations, forestry, sand and gravel etc.
  • Failure to replace Paint Lake protected lands
  • Little Limestone Lake protected without uplands around the lake
  • Slow pace for new protected areas establishment in forest Natural Regions despite commitments since 2002
  • Second five-year renewal of various park reserves, rather than decisions for permanent protection
  • Lack of action on spring 2007 election commitments
  • Lack of concrete support to WHS First Nations' lands planning
  • No further interim protection for WHS lands despite WHS standards
  • Lack of action on First Nations protected lands requests
  • Loss of two WMAs, announced as protected late 2006
  • Failure to update public data on WMAs
  • Failure to act on 10 million acres of lands approved for protection by Mining Sector
  • Allowing logging in government candidates designed for protection
  • Failure to fulfill protected areas establishment work plans in priority regions
  • No standards for new protected areas before forest license renewals, despite spring 2007 election commitment
  • Public references to development zones in Manitoba's parks that contradict the Provincial Parklands Act, and the government's protection standards.
"Manitoba has brought in measures to protect the boreal forest . . ." (Province of Manitoba - Climate and Green Initiatives - Manitoba's Top Climate Actions)

  • Manitoba Hydro announcement Bipole III will not transect east side boreal forests
  • Little Limestone Lake protected, following many years of discussion
  • Agreement with City of Winnipeg re: natural lands
  • Election commitment to protect boreal forests of Manitoba
  • Election commitment to protect lands nominated by First Nations
  • Election commitment to permanently protect Poplar/Nanowin River Park Reserve
  • Renewal of several park reserves, remaining protected
  • Inclusion of Cormorant Islands in Grand Island park reserve for Chemawawin First Nation
  • Protection of great grey owl habitat
  • Entering into discussions for larger protected areas at Fisher Bay, with Fisher River First Nation
  • Confirmation of protection standards in public announcements and policies, including spring 2007 election commitments
  • April 2007 Accord with east side First Nations affirms traditional land use plans before development
  • Woodland caribou habitat on the east side secured through logging deferral with Tembec

Manitoba Wildlands 2007 News release

Manitoba Wildlands news items for: Protected Areas Audit and Protected Areas Grade, 2007

Manitoba Wildlands 2007 Protected Areas Audit

MAP 2007 Protected Areas - Manitoba (PDF)

Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas Grade page

Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas page

Manitoba Wildlands 2007 Election Survey, protected areas section

Manitoba NDP environment commitments, 2007 election campaign (PDF)

Manitoba Protected Areas Commitments 2005-2007 (PDF)
Manitoba Protected Areas Commitments 2005-2007 - Full Sources (PDF)

Manitoba Wildlands summary of Protected Area commitments in Throne/Budget speeches

Manitoba Wildlands World Heritage Site page