Like many Manitobans, I believe provincial parks are no place for industrial activities, including peat mining. Parks are special places that should be fully protected for future generations of people and wildlife. In fact, experts are telling us we need significantly more protected lands to maintain Earth’s life-support systems and peatlands are important criteria to consider in selecting areas to conserve.
Peatlands — many of us know them as bogs or muskeg — filter our water. Locally, they are a huge component in saving Lake Winnipeg by purifying the incoming flow. Globally, the trees and soils of peatlands also greatly help in the fight against climate change by keeping the carbon they hold on the ground and away from the atmosphere.
Next month, the Manitoba government is hosting a meeting to present its draft vision of a precedent-setting boreal-peatlands stewardship strategy. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is asking the province to announce a commitment to work with First Nations and all Manitobans to safeguard more than half of our boreal region from industrial developments along with best practices on the remaining landscape