Recent Updates from the Manitoba Field Office

11 weeks 5 days ago

March 6, 2015

Out of the ecological depths of the Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship branch, some GOOD news has arrived: the province is proposing six new ecological reserves in southeast Manitoba!

St. Labre Bog, Cedar Bog and the Lewis Bog expansion are within the Whitemouth River watershed, which Wilderness Committee supporters have asked the government to protect by sending them thousands of letters. Woodridge, Ste. Anne Bog and Piney are all near their namesake towns.

The proposed sites are all wetland bog complexes, including peatlands, and the government’s summary reports on the the new proposals outline a host of rare plants, animals and unusual geography in each area. When officially designated, these six ecological reserves will add 10,325 hectares to Manitoba's protected areas. The “Ecological Reserve” designation affords the highest level of protection for wilderness – good news indeed!

12 weeks 6 days ago

February 26, 2015

People packed the lecture hall at the University of Winnipeg on Monday, and they packed the community hall in St. Norbert on Wednesday, to hear panelists sharing facts about the monster upon us. Manitoba, Winnipeg, and especially the small community of St. Norbert, are now at the front line of Canada's dangerous pursuit of oil. This is ground zero in the push to stabilize our climate, move our lives towards responsible energy sources and end our fossil fuel addiction.

14 weeks 9 hours ago

A public forum and panel discussion on the Energy East pipeline

The proposed Energy East pipeline project is here. The federal government is asking for members of the public to provide input. The city of Winnipeg is reviewing the plan. The province of Manitoba is applying to be an intervenor in National Energy Board (NEB) hearings.

But what do you actually know about the pipeline proposal? 

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Manitoba Field Office

Welcome to the Wilderness Committee's Manitoba Field Office. The Wilderness Committee is Canada’s largest membership-based wilderness preservation group with 60,000 members, supporters and volunteers, and we are hard at work on the ground in Manitoba. We’ve helped gain protection for over 50 major wilderness areas in Canada, including millions of hectares of critical wildlife habitats, and some of the world’s last large tracts of old-growth temperate rainforest and boreal forest. Through public education, grassroots mobilization, and strategic research, we are working on protecting the wild spaces and species in the province to ensure a healthy future for all Manitobans. We encourage you to join us in our work. 

To sign up for email action alerts and campaign updates from the Manitoba office, please complete the full form below:

Charitable Registration # 11929-3009-RR0001


Stretching from the east side of Manitoba’s Lake Winnipeg far into the province of Ontario is one of the greatest natural areas left on earth. The Heart of the Boreal is a vast wilderness filled with jack pine-covered granite ridges, black spruce and tamarack lowlands, and more lakes than you can imagine.

Manitobans are fortunate to still have vast expanses of intact, representative ecosystems within our province. These wild lands provide ecosystem services – byproducts of healthy and natural wild areas – to maintain our own health through clean air and clean water.

The vast expanse of Hudson Bay splits the center of Canada’s north country, allowing access to the Arctic Ocean. Here the remote shoreline – inaccessible from southern roads – is barren and wild, with sparse and stunted trees dotting the tundra. A hardy menagerie of animals make this habitat their home: arctic fox and muskox, polar bears and caribou, beluga whales and ring seals, Ross’ gulls and short-eared owls.

Manitoba’s provincial parks are home to remote sparkling lakes, clear rivers, sandy beaches and wild boreal forests. You can hike through natural grasslands in Spruce Woods, relax on the sand at Grand Beach, cross-country ski at Duck Mountain, spot rare orchids in Nopiming, or paddle down world-famous canoeing rivers in Atikaki.

Canadians are increasingly aware of the severe environmental issues associated with peat. For centuries peat was used as a source of fuel, and in modern times it is commonly used as a growing medium in amateur gardening. Unfortunately, peat mining is an incredibly destructive and unnecessary industry.

The north is often symbolized by caribou. School children even know of the massive herds made up of thousands of barren ground caribou migrating across the open tundra. The caribou is one of those iconic species, featured prominently on Canada’s 25-cent coin.

The Wilderness Committee has worked on boreal forest research and protection for decades. We were inspired to take action because the boreal forest makes up over half of Canada, is threatened on multiple levels by numerous industrial activities such as the tar sands, and has many wildlife and plants that are declining.

Make Your Voice Heard

Help protect the Lower Bird River

Write a letter!

The Bird River is a real conservation hotspot in Manitoba, one that we’ve highlighted in our recent educational report, Wild Manitoba: 5 Natural Treasures at Risk. This region encompasses a wealth of wildlife, is relatively pristine and is accessible for many people by foot or by paddle.

However, mining plans pose an imminent risk to the Bird River. 

Cabot Corporation, the company that operates the Tanco Mine at Bernic Lake, proposed a plan to drain water from Bernic Lake – a lake that has been contaminated from their mine operations – into the Bird River. After many Manitobans appealed to the provincial government about this issue, the application to drain the lake was withdrawn. But a new mining claim has been discovered on the banks of the river.

The Wilderness Committee is proposing a new protected area to encompass the lower Bird River, one that will protect it and the surrounding lands for future generations.

Please join us in our campaign by sending a letter to the Manitoba government, asking them to permanently protect the lands and waters of the lower Bird River.

Write a letter now >>


Photo: The lower Bird River (Eric Reder).

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