In the column that appeared on January 4, “Good management lets everyone enjoy Manitoba’s provincial parks”, Mr. Robert Sopuck outlines the many activities that take place in our parks,
including cottaging, hunting, boating, skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, logging, commercial outfitting and trapping, mining, and the list goes on. While Mr. Sopuck extols how our parks “have to be all things to all people”, it makes one wonder how these “protected” pockets of nature can withstand all of this pressure. Parks cannot be all things to all people without compromising the ecological health of the parks, which is supposed to be protected under Manitoba’s Provincial Parks Act. As outlined in the Act, the three purposes of our provincial parks system are: To conserve ecosystems and maintain biodiversity; to preserve unique and representative natural, cultural and heritage resources; and to provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities and experiences in a natural setting. The preservation of biodiversity and commercial logging are incompatible. Simply because logging took place historically in an area does not mean it is an acceptable use of a park’s ecosystem. In Duck Mountain Provincial Park for example, air photos show that logging is now taking place in the park on a scale and in a manner far greater than took place historically. (In fact, 61% of the park’s land base is open to logging.) It is time to recognize that our parks deserve better.
Executive Director, Manitoba Chapter
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society