Our Successes

Below are some of CPAWS Manitoba’s achievements.


CPAWS Manitoba receives the 2016 Conservation Award from The Manitoba Chapter of The Wildlife Society

We can now count ourselves among the inspiring list of individuals and organizations who have earned this award in the past through their tireless work in wildlife and landscape conservation!

Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Land Use Planning Funds: A positive step toward fulfilling commitments to Indigenous Nations

In January 2016, CPAWS joined members of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) and Premier Selinger for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding land use planning focused on conservation and resource management of NCN’s 22,000 square kilometer resource management area within the boreal forest of Manitoba. CPAWS had been supporting NCN’s land use planning with funding and expertise since January 2014. As evidenced by First Nations that have conducted and completed land use plans on the east side of Lake Winnipeg as well as our productive dialogues with many Indigenous, government, and industry leaders, CPAWS believes that Indigenous-led land use planning is a key mechanism for establishing certainty for conservation, sustainable developments, and benefits for local communities in Manitoba’s boreal forest region, which covers about 80% of the province.


New Boreal lands secured for nature in Manitoba

In December 2015, Kinwow Bay and Sturgeon Bay, situated on the west side of Lake Winnipeg north of Hecla and the existing Fisher bay Provincial Park, became two new provincial parks. Proposed by Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation, CPAWS MB was proud to support this effort by ensuring hundreds of letters of support for the proposal were sent to the province. Together the two parks secure over 23,000 ha. of Boreal lands from industrial developments while ensuring traditional practices can continue.

Protected Areas Strategy released

In November 2015, the province of Manitoba released its Protected Areas Strategy outlining priority regions within which protections from industrial development will be sought. Ron Thiessen, Executive Director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s (CPAWS) Manitoba Chapter, who spoke at the Nov. 26 press event, was pleased to contribute, at the government’s request, to the development of the strategy, which targets the protection of 17% of the landscape of Manitoba by 2020. The province kick started the progress with the designation of the Red Deer Lake Wildlife Management Area and an expansion of the Lake Winnipegosis Ecological reserve, which brings the current provincial lands under protection to 11%.

Final Woodland Caribou Strategy for Manitoba released

In October 2015, the Manitoba government released its long awaited final strategy to prevent woodland caribou populations from local extinction. The strategy incorporates establishing large areas where forestry won’t occur and it exceeds national requirements by committing to protect and manage for 65-80% intact suitable boreal caribou habitat in each caribou management unit. CPAWS worked closely with the province to ensure this would be recognized as a cornerstone of recovery efforts. The final strategy comes on the heels of over 10,000 signatures provided to the province calling for a final recovery strategy that upholds the large habitat protection priority and urged swift, on the ground implementation.


Designation of new provincial parks

CPAWS efforts toward establishing new protected areas paid off as the province is moving ahead toward its commitment to create 10 new or expanded parks by 2020. The commitment is part of TomorrowNow, Manitoba’s Green Plan, which seeks to balance environmental protection with a thriving sustainable economy. The designation of Chitek Lake Provincial Park and the Walter Cook Caves Ecological Reserve move the measuring stick forward toward CPAWS’ goal of protecting at least 50% of our boreal regions from industrial developments to maintain ecological and economic stability as well as the forest carbon reserves that help to buffer against the impacts of climate change.

Woodland Caribou Draft Strategy for Manitoba released

In April 2014, with considerable involvement of CPAWS Manitoba, the Manitoba government released its draft strategy for the recovery of woodland caribou populations in Manitoba, which identifies the need for large cores areas for caribou where forestry will not occur.


Manitoba expands east side wilderness protection measures

With advice, encouragement, and public promotion from CPAWS Manitoba, the involved First Nations and the province of Manitoba showed continued leadership in protecting nature within its borders, creating a large new protected area (132,000 ha) in Bloodvein First Nation traditional territory on Manitoba’s east side of Lake Winnipeg, protecting Pauingassi First Nation traditional land (300,000 ha) and Little Grand First Nation (420,000 ha) from industrial developments through legislation.

Manitoba bans peat mining in parks

With support from CPAWS, the Manitoba government banned peat mining in parks – a huge leap toward ensuring our parks are healthy for future generations of wildlife and people.

Manitoba adopts new park strategy

With advice from CPAWS, the Manitoba government adopted a new parks strategy that identifies “maintaining ecosystems” as its fundamental operating principle.


Manitoba Eco-Network’s Protecting Our Earth Award won by CPAWS

Our Executive Director, Ron Thiessen, was given a Manitoba Eco-Network award in 2012 for his positive contributions, via CPAWS, to awareness and protection of Manitoba’s environment 


Manitoba lakes gain protection

CPAWS Manitoba’s public messaging, government relations and collaborative efforts were instrumental in protecting Meditation and Sylvia lakes from proposed developments and gaining protected status.

Manitoba’s Poplar River area gains protection

CPAWS Manitoba inspired tens of thousands of Manitobans to write the Premier to enact large scale land protections on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, supporting the establishment of the Poplar River First Nation’s 800,000 ha traditional area as protected under The East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act.

Manitoba protects more of its Boreal forest

CPAWS Manitoba and Indigenous communities (Fisher Bay and the Mosakahiken Cree First Nations) won victories after years of hard work when the province announced the creation of Fisher Bay Provincial Park (85,000 ha) and Little Limestone Provincial Park (4100 ha). Manitoba also announced protection of a huge area of Boreal forest on the East side of Lake Winnipeg.


Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement signed

After two years of negotiation, several CPAWS chapters, including Manitoba along with 8 other conservation groups and 21 forestry companies, reached a historic agreement to conserve Canada’s boreal forest with special emphasis on protecting critical boreal woodland caribou habitat.


Manitoba protects large-scale boreal forest areas

Through the efforts of CPAWS Manitoba and other groups working toward large-scale boreal protection, Kaskatamagan Wildlife Management Area (259,530 ha) and the Kaskatamagan Sipi WMA (133,820 hectares) were established in Manitoba and provided legal protection from all industrial developments. CPAWS Manitoba inspired tens of thousands of Manitobans to write the Premier to enact large scale land protection on the east side of Lake Winnipeg. This helped to provide the conditions to establish precedent setting legislation and the East Side Traditional Lands Planning and Special Protected Areas Act, which allows indigenous communities to legally protect large areas through land use plans.


Manitoba Aboriginal Conservation Leaders project launched

CPAWS Manitoba’s Ron Thiessen launched the Aboriginal Conservation Leaders project to inspire new environmental protection leaders in the boreal forest.

Logging banned in Manitoba parks

Through a CPAWS Manitoba campaign, industrial logging was banned in Manitoba’s provincial parks.


East Side of Lake Winnipeg saved

CPAWS Manitoba, together with local organizations and other groups, convinced the Manitoba government to not run a major hydro corridor through the east side of Lake Winnipeg, which would have run through the largest remaining intact area in North America’s boreal forest.


Manitoba gains park

CPAWS Manitoba chapter worked with the Western Canada Wilderness Committee to gain establishment of the 7,200 ha Manigotagan River provincial park.