Park management plans

In the mid-1990s, the provincial government undertook the process of creating and/or updating management plans for all provincial parks. The plans will determine the future course of each park, including what activities or developments are allowed within each park.

Sadly, of our over 80 parks, Grand Beach, Atikaki, and Duck Mountain parks are the only ones with current management plans. Without a grand vision, the result is ongoing and potentially disastrous piecemeal developments in our parks.

Park classifications

Within each park, there are designations of one, or a combination, of the following six land use categories, which sets out what general types of activities can take place there.

Example: Whiteshell Provincial Park contains each of the land use categories available (see map at right).

Park land use classifactions

Wilderness (W) Purpose is to protect natural landscapes in an undisturbed state and provide recreational opportunities that depend on a pristine environment. [Whiteshell: 11% of the park]
Backcountry (B) Purpose is to protect examples of natural landscape and provide basic facilities and trails for nature-oriented recreation in a largely undisturbed environment. [Whiteshell: 22% of the park]
Resource Management (RM) Purpose is to permit commercial resource development or extraction, such as logging and mining. [Duck Mountain: 61% of the park]
Recreational Development (RD) Purpose is to accommodate recreational development, such as cottages, campgrounds, hotels, businesses, etc. [Whiteshell: 18% of the park]
Heritage (H) Purpose is to protect a unique or representative site containing a resource of cultural or heritage value. [Whiteshell: 2% of the park]
Access (A) Purpose is to provide a point or route of access in a provincial park or a location for a lodge and associated facilities. [Whiteshell: <1% of the park]

Classifications of major Provincial Parks in Manitoba

Here is a list of the major provincial parks, their classification, and the breakdown of their land use categories.

Asessippi

Asessippi is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 23.3 km2.
86% of the park is designated as Recreational Development; 12% as Backcountry and 2% as Heritage land use category.

Atikaki

Atikaki is the only park in southern Manitoba classified as a Wilderness Park, which means that no logging, mining or hydro-electric development can take place within the park. Total park area is 3,981 km2. 99% of the park is designated as Wilderness and <1% as Access.

South Atikaki

An area containing several mineral claims was removed from the southern boundary of Atikaki Provincial Park in 1997 and redesignated as South Atikaki Park Reserve. (As part of Atikaki, no mining would have been allowed as this contravened the classification of a Wilderness Park. The Province’s solution was to simply remove that section from the park.) South Atikaki became a separate provincial park on April 29, 2003. While mining is allowed in this park, forestry is not.

South Atikaki is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 139.5 km2.
73.5% of the park is designated as Recreational Development and 26.5% as Resource Management.

Clearwater Lake

Clearwater Lake is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 593 km2.
57% of the park is designated for Recreational Development; 23% as Resource Management; 20% as Backcountry; and <1% as Access.

Duck Mountain

Duck Mountain is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 1,424 km2.
61% of the park is designated as Resource Management (forestry); 33% as Backcountry; 6% as Recreational Development; and <1% as Access.

Grand Beach

Grand Beach is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 24.9 km2.
56% of the park is designated as Backcountry and the other 44% as Recreational Development.

Grass River

Grass River is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 2,279 km2.
75% of the park is designated as Resource Management (mining and wild rice harvesting) although approximately two-thirds of this area is closed to forestry to preserve woodland caribou habitat and string bogs; 24% as Recreational Development; and 1% as Backcountry.

Hecla/Grindstone

Hecla/Grindstone is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 1,084 km2.
61% of the park is designated as Recreational Development; 32% as Backcountry; 5% as Resource Management (haying and peat mining); 2% as Heritage; and <1% as Access.

Nopiming

Nopiming is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 1,429 km2.
62% of the park is designated as Resource Management (mining, wild rice and bait fish harvest); 19% as Recreational Development; 19% as Backcountry; and <1% as Access.

Paint Lake

Paint Lake is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 227 km2 (including East Paint Lake Park Reserve).
88% of the park is designated as Recreational Development and 12% as Resource Management (mining).

Spruce Woods

Spruce Woods is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 269 km2.
75% of the park is designated as Backcountry; 22% of the park as Recreational Development; 3% as Heritage; and <1% as Access.

Turtle Mountain

Turtle Mountain is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 186 km2.
65% of the park is designated as Backcountry; 23% as Recreational Development; and 12% as Resource Management (oil/gas exploration and extraction, and fuelwood cutting but no commercial forestry).

Whiteshell

Whiteshell is classified as a Natural Park. Total park area is 2,721 km2.
47% of the park is designated as Resource Management (mining and wild rice harvesting); 22% as Backcountry; 18% as Recreation Development; 11% as Wilderness; 2% as Heritage; and <1% as Access.

Resources

Current management plans:

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