Turtle Mountain Provincial Park finally protected from industry destruction

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Wilderness Committee

Oil and gas development in Turtle Mountain Provincial Park in 2018
Oil and gas development in Turtle Mountain Provincial Park in 2018

However, 61 per cent of Duck Mountain Provincial Park still open for clearcutting 

WINNIPEG – The Wilderness Committee is celebrating the full protection of another provincial park as Turtle Mountain is finally off-limits to fossil fuel development. Supporters sent more than a hundred letters to Premier Brian Pallister’s government asking that all of Turtle Mountain and Duck Mountain provincial parks be protected from industrial development. Unfortunately, the Ducks were left out of the changes as new protection for this park is barely measurable against the ongoing industrial logging destruction there. 

“The long-overdue protection of Turtle Mountain is incredible news!” exclaimed Wilderness and Water Campaigner Eric Reder. “Parks are truly cherished by Manitobans and are such a valuable contribution to our health and wellbeing.”

Fossil fuel operations have scarred the landscape of Turtle Mountain for decades. The government wouldn’t protect the park until after Tundra Oil and Gas decided not to renew their lease. 

“It’s offensive to celebrate a fossil fuel company for not destroying any more public provincial park rather than actually protecting parks from development,” said Reder. “That’s what fits with Pallister’s brand, unfortunately, which is why they refuse to actually protect the Ducks.”

More protection for Duck Mountain Provincial Park is welcome, however, today’s announcement is less than one km2 out of 1,400 km2 — not nearly enough. Manitobans have sent more than 20,000 letters asking that logging be banned in parks and 70 per cent of Manitobans polled wanted an end to industrial activity in parks. 

“A token of protection for a sliver of Duck Mountain Provincial Park will not staunch the destruction flowing from continued clearcutting in The Ducks,” said Reder. “Pallister’s idea of industrial activity in a park is archaic.” 

Today’s news release from the government made the claim this action is in line with the goal of their A Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan Discussion Paper. The truth is there is no goal in this discussion paper. The plan states they will review protected areas, provides no target and no timeline. 

“We have to address the biodiversity and climate crises with more than just rhetoric and Pallister’s government is failing at this,” said Reder. “We need more nature preserved, more parks and more wildlife species protection every single month.”

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For more information, please contact:

Eric Reder | Wilderness and Water Campaigner
204-997-8584, eric@wildernesscommittee.org

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