Time to act to protect Nopiming Provincial Park!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October 16, 2015

On Thanksgiving Sunday, I walked an old trail to a lake in Nopiming Provincial Park with my seven-year-old son. It was his first visit to this spot, but I had been here many times.

For him, with his fresh eyes, the forest was big and alive. For me, knowing the place, I could see the scars of military training exercises that are run in the park. Trees cut down, new roads opened up, tracked vehicle tracks chewing up the forest floor, garbage. It was a wonderful day with my son, but it drives me to do more.

My father took me on my first canoe trip in 1976 on the Manigotagan River – the same year Nopiming Park was established. My dad was with me when I saw my first clearcut in the park in 1986. In 2008, my young son was in his stroller as we protested park logging at the Manitoba legislature, and a few months later logging was banned in the park.

On an ice fishing trip in 2011, I discovered new mining roads bulldozed through to the headwaters of the lake I was fishing, as well as fresh drill activity. I still take my son to this lake, but I haven’t yet shown him the mining trails.

The Wilderness Committee produced a document called A Greenprint for Nopiming Provincial Park last fall, when the government was asking for public comment before producing a management plan for the park.

Just this month, the Manitoba government released its Draft Management Plan for Nopiming Provincial Park, and they got some things right.

The province is looking at expanding protected areas in the park, safeguarding moose and woodland caribou, and better protecting rivers. They’re also going to restrict off-road vehicle use. These are positive steps forward – but frankly, those things are the least of what you’d expect in a park.

The biggest threat to Nopiming is mining activity. You can read more about mining in Manitoba parks in this report.

Very simply, mining is destructive and has no place in a park. Yet the government has not acted.

Military exercises should not be conducted in the park, but the southern region of the park is filled with the mess of military activity, on virtually every lake shore. The Manitoba government has stated they will make these exercises less impactful, but we say they need to be removed from Nopiming entirely.

Nopiming Park Open House in Winnipeg

Now that the Manitoba government has released its draft plan for Nopiming Provincial Park, they are seeking your input!

There are two open houses coming up: one in Winnipeg and one in Lac du Bonnet.

On Wednesday, October 21, we’re going to rally our voices in Winnipeg at 5:00 p.m., at the northwest corner of Kenaston Boulevard and Sterling Lyon Parkway. We’ll have signs and handouts for the motorists travelling past this busy intersection.

Then, we’ll walk together to the open house, which is being held at 6:00 p.m. in the boardroom at Cabela’s store (580 Sterling Lyon Parkway).

Will you join us to raise your voice for Nopiming Provincial park?

Of course, we’ll also say THANK YOU to the government for committing to a new woodland caribou protected area, and for the proposed ATV restrictions in Nopiming.

Please email or give us a call to let us know if you can participate on October 21st – contact our office at contactmb@wildernesscommittee.org or by phone at (204) 942-9292.

Nopiming Park has changed for the worse since I’ve been going there. When my son brings his kids to this park in years to come, and the next generation experiences this entrance to the wilderness, they can visit a park that is in better shape than it is today.

Come join us on October 21, and make your voice heard!

- Eric Reder | Manitoba Campaign Director


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