Manitoba Wildlands

Manitoba Protected Areas Grade 2008

Technical Assessment     F

December 2007 - March 2009 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 actions. Penalty and bonus points highlight successes or failures. The grade is based on Government data, regulations, public policy, and commitments. The next grade/assessment will cover a period beginning March 2009.

D   1) Application of Ecological Criteria to Design, Designate protected areas. Manitoba Conservation is not designing and designating protected areas to ecologically represent Manitoba's natural regions. A technical methods report is has not been available for seven consecutive years. New protected areas fall short in adequately representing landscapes and natural regions, and will fail to provide sustainable habitat and range areas for species.

F    2) Protected Areas Strategy and Action Plan to complete protected areas systems for each natural region. In 2004, the 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, which has still not been provided. Over 70 candidate sites are stuck in the system, without decisions. Government protected areas work plans have not been fulfilled.

C    3) Protected Areas System Completion ** This criteria is triple weighted to assess actual protected lands in each natural region, and is indicative of decisions needed to complete Manitoba's network of protected areas. Manitoba's protected areas system saw a net loss in protected lands again in 2008. A 'C' grade means only one third of Manitoba's protected areas are in place. See Manitoba Wildlands' 2008 protected areas audit.

F    4) Rate of Progress in Protected Areas Designation The net loss of protected areas means completion of Manitoba's regional networks of protected areas is stalled. Despite verbal support for the east side World Heritage Site (WHS), no action to protect these lands has been taken since 2004. The only WHS lands protected by regulation have 8 months interim protection left (of 10 years). Other lands were nominated for protection almost 10 years ago.

F    5) Protection Standards Maintained or Extended Actions since 2007 Protected Areas Grade are listed on Manitoba Wildlands' 2008 Grade Map (PDF), and on this 2008 Actions Chart (PDF). Attempts to include Recreational Development zones in Parks as protected lands show confusion, as these zones include roads, bridges, town sites, cottages etc. Delays in regulations for withdrawal of Crown mineral rights continue.

D    6) Legislation/Policies for Private Protected Areas. A public registry of all conservation easements and private protected lands was called for by WWF Canada in 1995, and still does not exist. City of Winnipeg Memorandum of Agreement had potential to bring significant lands into 2008 grade but to date there have been no public decisions. Private conservation lands need to undergo technical review for withdrawal of Crown mineral rights. Information exchange about private protected lands is nonexistent.

Net loss of protected lands in Manitoba for 2008 - second year in a row

Protected Areas Establishment Process/Progress
  • Fall-down on consultation models for protected areas establishment in Manitoba: Mines sector, First Nations, etc.
  • Failure to complete Manitoba Conservation work plans for priority candidates and regions
  • Failure to act on 10 million acres of lands approved for protection by Mining Sector
  • Slow pace for new protected areas establishment in boreal forest regions despite commitments since 2002
  • Lack of progress on protected lands on east side, as per 2007 Accord with First Nations
  • Second five-year renewal of various park reserves continue, rather than permanent protection decisions
  • Failure to replace Fisher Bay park reserve protected lands removed, and failure to follow community wishes to protect and re name Fisher Bay park reserve
  • Disparity between government surveys of Poplar/Nanowin Rivers park reserve, with resulting loss in protected land
  • Failure of department, and Ministerial staff to respond to requests for protected areas grade information
Mixed Messages
  • Public references to development zones in Manitoba parks as protected
  • Attempt to say Ontario/Manitoba MOU includes new protected lands
  • Attempt to say that ending logging means parklands are protected
Broken Promises
  • Logging permitted in government-designed candidate areas for protection
  • No new protected areas before forest license renewals and extensions, despite 2007 election commitment
  • Failure to act on 2005 commitment to protect traditional lands nominated by Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids First Nations
World Heritage Site
  • No interim protection for WHS lands despite WHS standards and First Nation community requests.
  • Lack of transparency on decision making of Pimachiowin Aki Inc. (WHS)
  • Lack of work plan, terms of reference under 2008 Ontario/Manitoba Inter-provincial Wilderness Areas MOU
Legislative and Regulatory
  • Late regulations and survey maps
  • Addition of a new Land Use Classification to Park Lands Act without public notification or review
  • Lack of consultation with affected First Nations prior to tabling Bill 6 re: east side lands planning and protection
  • Tabling Bill 3, which contains amendments to Forest Act that have nothing to do with the intent of Bill 3 (no logging in parks)
  • No information as to how Bill 3 will be implemented so these parks lands can be restored, and protected
    Bill 3 - The Forest Amendment Act
    Bill 6 - The East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act

  • Manitoba government steadfast that Bipole III will not transect east side boreal forest regions
  • Tabling of Bill 3 in Legislature to prohibit logging in old provincial parks.
  • Tabled Bill in 6 Legislature to support traditional lands planning and community protected areas on the east side
  • Confirmation of protection standards in public announcements and work plans
  • Inter-provincial Wilderness Area MOU signed with Ontario
  • Consistency in public language regarding protection standards
  • Steps to green Winnipeg Floodway and increase recreational use
  • Posting 2008 protected areas activity bulletin

Manitoba Wildlands 2008 News release
Manitoba Wildlands 2008 news items: Protected Areas Audit and Protected Areas Grade
Manitoba Wildlands 2008 Protected Areas Audit
MAP 2008 Protected Areas - Manitoba (PDF)
Manitoba Wildlands 2008 Protected Areas - Actions List (PDF)
Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas Grade page
Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas page
2007 Election Manitoba NDP environment commitments (PDF)
Manitoba Wildlands Manitoba World Heritage Site page