Manitoba Wildlands

Manitoba Protected Areas Grade 2009

Technical Assessment     C

March 2009 - February 2010 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 2010.

C   1) Ecological Criteria to Design, Designate protected areas Manitoba Conservation is starting to return to designing and designating protected areas to ecologically represent Manitoba's natural regions. A technical methods report has not been available for eight consecutive years. Some new protected areas still fall short in adequately representing landscapes and natural regions, and will fail to provide sustainable habitat and range areas for species. Decisions to protect the minimum shows inadequate ecological understanding. Claims that small protected areas provide adequate habitat for ungulates are over stated.

D    2) Protected Areas Strategy - Action Plan should complete protected areas systems for each natural region. Manitoba's Action Plan for a Network of Protected Areas expired years ago; a new Action Plan is still outstanding. Over 70 candidate sites are stuck in the system. Protected areas work plans not fulfilled are deleted from web pages. Regions north of Lake Winnipeg, the west side of Manitoba, and along Hudsons Bay, where species are at risk due to climate change, urgently need action.

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 networks of protected areas. Manitoba's protected areas system saw an increase in protected lands for 2009. A 'C' grade means only one third of Manitoba's protected areas are in place. See Manitoba Wildlands' 2009 protected areas audit.

C    4) Rate of Progress in Protected Areas Designation One northern region's protected areas network was completed this year. Despite support for the east side World Heritage Site (WHS), no new action to protect these lands has been taken, while development decisions precede lands planning. Some forest regions have no protected lands at all, while development decisions continue. 2009 avoids net loss of protected lands reported in previous years.

F    5) Protection Standards Maintained or Extended Actions since 2008 Protected Areas Grade are listed on Manitoba Wildlands' 2009 Grade Map (PDF), and on this 2009 Actions Chart (PDF). This year showed an improvement in maintaining protection standards, though steps for crown mineral rights to be withdrawn need improvement. Several outstanding opportunities exist to protect existing designations.

D    6) Legislation/Policies for Private Protected Areas. A public registry of conservation easements and private protected lands was called for by WWF Canada in 1995, and still does not exist. Private conservation lands often lack withdrawal of crown mineral rights and are not protected. Information exchange about private protected lands is nonexistent. Recent MOUs are not public.


  • Failure to consult with Manitoba First Nations before tabling The East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Bill
  • Lack of protected areas strategy for Manitoba, for 7 years
  • No strategy for protected areas in forest management licenses
  • No confirmation of First Nation consent for new protected areas
  • Lack of transparency on technical reviews
  • Dispositions issued in east side planning area
  • Future world heritage site, lands planning and potential protected lands not in standards for Tembec long term forest plan, and East Side Road Authority plan
  • Need to make sure web posted protected areas materials are up to date
  • Loss of representation in region 4C, Hayes River Upland, while development decisions continue
  • East Side Road, justification includes: bi pole III on the east side, increase in cottages, and expansion of forestry
  • Moving date back for world heritage site nomination package
  • Lack of information to substantiate private lands protection
  • Crown mineral rights not withdrawn from private protected lands
  • New developments in parks before park plans updated
  • Ignoring in house and public objections to new logging road in no logging zone, Grass River Park
  • No protection, restoration plan for park zones now regulated so logging stops
  • No protected lands identification in tourism materials, highway map etc
  • Inaccurate Land Use Classification for Poplar River/Nanowin park reserve per Manitoba Conservation web site
  • Parks systems plan not up dated for ' no logging in parks '
  • South Atikaki (first no logging zone in 2003) still not protected
  • Fjords along Hudson Bay still not protected
  • Churchill wildlife management area not protected, 14 years later
  • Lack of full regional networks, with species corridors

  • First year in three without net loss of protected lands
  • Announcement regarding carbon/peatlands protection intentions
  • Action to protect Mining sector supported sites from several years ago
  • Completion of protected areas system for region 2b, Coastal Hudson Bay Lowland
  • Posting parks systems plan and protected areas listing online
  • Completing protected areas actions under both acts
  • Maintaining position to keep east side boreal forest regions intact
  • Adding 2007 Accord principles to the East side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act due to pressure from affected communities
  • Putting additional funding in place for lands planning, east side First Nations
  • No logging in unprotected parks zones regulation
  • Expanding protected area for Great Grey Owl
  • Protecting some East Side Lake Winnipeg shoreline
  • Posting updated protected wildlife management areas information
  • Improved web posted information especially wildlife branch
  • Progress on commitment for one significant new protected area each year
  • Action on Hudson Bay protected areas intentions

Manitoba Wildlands 2009 News release
Manitoba Wildlands 2009 news items: Protected Areas Audit and Protected Areas Grade
Manitoba Wildlands 2009 Protected Areas Audit
MAP 2009 Protected Areas - Manitoba (PDF)
Manitoba Wildlands 2009 Protected Areas - Actions List (PDF)
Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas Grade page
Manitoba Wildlands Protected Areas page
Manitoba Wildlands Manitoba World Heritage Site page