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MANITOBA GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES EXPANSION FOR WHITESHELL PROVINCIAL PARK

Manitoba News

December 16, 2014 

Whiteshell Manitoba Park ExpansionThe Manitoba government is expanding Whiteshell Provincial Park by expanding the park boundaries to include 2,950 hectares of land and water, and increasing the protected area within the park by 20,375 hectares, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Gord Mackintosh announced today.

“The park expansion and increased protection shows the government’s commitment to protecting Manitoba’s water, wetlands and forests,” Minister Mackintosh said.  “The area being added is almost as large as Birds Hill Provincial Park and will be instrumental in helping us better protect Manitoba’s tremendous natural landscapes.”

The expansion and land-use category changes within the park will add 23,325 hectares of land to Manitoba’s protected areas network.  This will raise the amount of protected land and water in Whiteshell Provincial Park to 44 per cent from 35 per cent.

The added land and water will connect Whiteshell Provincial Park to the Whitemouth Bog Ecological Reserve and Whitemouth Bog Wildlife Management Area.  The Whitemouth Bog contains calcareous fens, one of the rarest wetland types in North America, as well as a large diversity of plant and animal life, the minister said.

The expansion will help ensure the safety of this environment by protecting the waters that flow between the park and the Whitemouth Bog, Minister Mackintosh said, adding protecting the wetlands will also help clean water before it reaches Lake Winnipeg.

“Whiteshell Provincial Park offers year-round opportunities for Manitobans looking to explore the province’s natural beauty and live an active life,” said Minister Mackintosh.  “Increasing the area that is protected promotes the health of the park and allows us to ensure these opportunities exist in the future.”

The expansion of the park will also help protect the shores of Big Whiteshell Lake, the Winnipeg River, White Lake and the rivers and streams that feed them, he noted.  These bodies of water are popular for ice fishing.

Whiteshell Provincial Park is a popular destination for Manitobans in the winter with more than
350 kilometres of award winning snowmobile trails, 100 km of cross-country ski trails, winter hiking trails and snowshoe trails.

More information on Whiteshell Provincial Park can be found at

www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/popular_parks/popular_parks/whiteshell.

This announcement supports TomorrowNow – Manitoba’s Green Plan, an eight-year plan that supports environmental protection while ensuring a prosperous and environmentally conscious economy.  For more information, visitwww.gov.mb.ca/conservation/tomorrownowgreenplan.

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