Park not really protected area

May 10, 2003

On April 29, Conservation Minister Steve Ashton announced the creation of Manitoba’s newest provincial park, South Atikaki. This is welcome news for Manitobans who care about and enjoy our parks.

As a point of clarification, however, this is not “new” park land, as the area was originally part of Atikaki Provincial Park. It was removed from the park in 1997, as mining claims in the area were not compatible with Atikaki’s wilderness designation.

The minister also stated that South Atikaki Provincial Park is a key part of the government’s action plan for protected areas. While it is commendable that park status has been returned to South Atikaki and that logging will not be allowed in the park, the mining claims remain, so the park cannot be considered a protected area. The government’s efforts to further Manitoba’s network of protected areas need to include phasing out of resource extraction in our existing provincial parks.

Donna Danyluk

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Manitoba Chapter

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