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 and the Eagle-Snowshoe Conservation Reserve in Ontario and Atikaki Provincial Park and parts of Nopiming Provincial Park in Manitoba.
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, 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. “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.
QUICK FACTS
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– 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 plane.
LEARN MORE
Read more about the Manitoba-Ontario Interprovincial Wilderness Area.
Learn more about Ontario’s plan to protect the province’s Northern
Boreal Forest

BACKGROUND
Ontario and Manitoba have established a new Interprovincial Wilderness
Area.

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 Area.
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.
-30-
/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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