Ontario and Manitoba Establish Interprovincial Wilderness Area

    Announcement Strengthens Boreal Forest Protection

    TORONTO, July 30 /CNW/ -


    Ontario and Manitoba today signed a memorandum of understanding to
establish and manage a protected Interprovincial Wilderness Area in the boreal
forest along the Ontario-Manitoba border.
    The new wilderness area covers more than 9,400 square kilometres,
including Woodland Caribou Provincial Park
(http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/wood.html) and the Eagle-Snowshoe
Conservation Reserve in Ontario and Atikaki Provincial Park
(http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/atikaki/index.html) and
parts of Nopiming Provincial Park
(http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/nopiming/index.html) in
    The area is of national ecological and cultural importance. It protects a
wide variety of species and habitats in Canada's central boreal forest,
including important habitat for woodland caribou.
    The creation of the Interprovincial Wilderness Area is a significant step
towards the success of Pimachiowin Aki (http://www.pimachiowinaki.org/), a
partnership of four First Nations and the governments of Manitoba and Ontario
that is working to have 40,000 square kilometres of boreal forest in the two
provinces declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    It also strengthens Premier Dalton McGuinty's mid-July announcement that
Ontario will permanently protect 225,000 square kilometres of Ontario's Far
North boreal region.


    "By partnering with Manitoba to create a protected Interprovincial
Wilderness Area, Ontario is building on our efforts to protect the Far North
boreal region," said Ontario Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield
(http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/About/2ColumnSubPage/249086.html). "With
Manitoba, we will work with nearby First Nations, the Pimachiowin Aki World
Heritage Project, and other local communities to enhance the conservation of
this remarkable area."
    "In addition to marking another milestone in our march toward a World
Heritage Site designation for the pristine boreal forest on the east side of
Lake Winnipeg and northwest Ontario, this interprovincial wilderness area is a
unique approach that recognizes that neither wildlife habitat, ecosystems
migration patterns nor protected areas should be restricted by provincial
borders," said Manitoba Conservation Minister Stan Struthers


    -   The Interprovincial Wilderness Area provides significant habitat for
        species at risk such as forest-dwelling woodland caribou, the bald
        eagle, the wolverine, the carmine shiner, green and mink frogs and
        the barred owl.
    -   The area contains many popular canoe routes, including the Bloodvein,
        Pigeon and Bird rivers, and can be accessed by road, boat or float


    -   Read more about the Manitoba-Ontario Interprovincial Wilderness Area
    -   Learn more about Ontario's plan to protect the province's Northern
        Boreal Forest

                                                      Disponible en français

               Manitoba-Ontario Interprovincial Wilderness Area

    Ontario and Manitoba have established a new Interprovincial Wilderness
    The area, which lies along the Manitoba-Ontario border, encompasses over
9,400 square kilometres and includes Woodland Caribou Provincial Park and the
Eagle-Snowshoe Conservation Reserve in Ontario and Atikaki and parts of
Nopiming Provincial Parks in Manitoba.

    Working Together

    Manitoba and Ontario will work together to conserve the ecological
integrity of the area. The provinces will co-ordinate their resource
management and co-operate to encourage research and develop recreational
opportunities. By managing this cluster of parks and wilderness as one land
area, they will enhance the conservation of an integral part of Canada's
central boreal forest for future generations.
    Manitoba and Ontario recognize that partnerships with nearby First
Nations, the Pimachiowin Aki World Heritage Project and other local
communities will strengthen the management of the Interprovincial Wilderness

    Wild And Natural

    The Interprovincial Wilderness Area consists of protected lands that
enable visitors to experience true wilderness. Roads run only to the
perimeter. Travel within the area is by water or air. Lodges and outpost camps
are the only accommodations available.
    Located in the heart of Canada's Precambrian Shield, the Interprovincial
Wilderness Area features outstanding examples of boreal forest. It has a
continental boreal climate, with hot, dry summers and cold, clear winters. The
forest provides important summer and winter habitat for part of Canada's
woodland caribou population. The area is also home to a wide variety of
animals and plants and many types of popular game fish such as lake trout,
northern pike and walleye.
    The area includes several significant Aboriginal archaeological sites and
has been used by Aboriginal peoples for thousands of years. It is home to
adjacent First Nations communities.
    The area offers many opportunities for high-quality wilderness
experiences. Canoeists can choose from hundreds of kilometres of outstanding
canoe routes along rivers such as the Bloodvein, Pigeon and Bird. Anglers can
stay at several fly-in fishing lodges, remote cabins or campsites along
shorelines. Only a short flight from nearby communities, these lodges and
cabins can accommodate both short and long fishing vacations.
    By working together to protect the boreal forest and support a stronger
and healthier natural environment, Manitoba Conservation and the Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources are ensuring the Interprovincial Wilderness Area
remains an exceptional natural habitat and a preferred destination for
wilderness recreation.

For further information:

For further information: Stefanie Millon, Minister's Office, (416)
314-2198; Barry Radford, Communications Services Branch, (416) 314-0652;
Manitoba Parks and Natural Areas, Tel: (204) 945-6784, Toll Free
1-800-214-6497, manitobaparks.com; Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources,
Ontario Parks, Tel: (807) 475-1497, ontarioparks.com

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