November 21, 2008

The provincial government will introduce legislation which would prohibit logging in 79 out of 80 provincial parks and all future parks effective April 1, 2009, Premier Gary Doer announced today.

“This is an historic step forward in our government’s efforts to
preserve and protect the environment and support our rapidly
growing recreational and tourism industry,” said Doer.  “Previous
governments have issued long-term tenure to logging companies in
provincial parks.  The province has moved to take action to
reverse this course, in partnership with industry.”

The government is pleased to have reached agreements with the two
major logging companies with harvesting rights within four of the
five parks that currently have logging, said Doer, adding new
legislation will be introduced in the coming days that would
phase out logging from parks.

  • All commercial operations would cease in Whiteshell,
    Nopiming, Clearwater and Grass River provincial parks.  The two
    major forest product companies, Tembec Inc. and Tolko Industries
    Ltd. have agreed to move operations out of the four parks.
  • An additional 16 smaller quota holders would also be
    moved out of these four parks.
  • The complexity of agreements with commercial harvesters
    in Duck Mountain Provincial Park will not allow operations to end
    at this time.  Mills and jobs are completely dependent on the
    wood supply.

A total of just over $3 million in one-time financial
compensation will be paid to Tembec and Tolko to reflect the cost
of moving operations out of parks.

“Ending the practice of logging inside provincial parks will
leave a permanent, positive environmental legacy for future
generations of Manitobans,” said Conservation Minister Stan
Struthers.  “The amount of work it has taken to end a practice
that was entrenched decades ago cannot be understated.”

Manitoba’s primary forest sector, which includes logging and
paper manufacturing, is responsible for approximately $259
million of Manitoba’s gross domestic product (GDP). The forest
industry employs Manitobans in approximately 2,500 direct jobs in
logging, paper product manufacturing and related support

In order to allow Tembec to prepare an updated forest management
plan, a five-year licence extension to their forest management
license agreement will be required.

“This agreement is a truly sustainable solution where economic
impacts were recognized, environmental objectives protected and
social dynamics taken into consideration.  Tembec is proud to
partner with Manitoba to pursue economic activity while leading
resource stewardship,” said Dennis Rounsville, executive
vice-president and president of Tembec’s Forest Products Group.

“The forestry industry overall continues to be a major economic
contributor in Manitoba, providing significant employment and
revenues to the province,” said Dave Knight, regional woodlands
manager of Tolko Industries.  “This announcement balances the
needs of changes to our park management with the needs of
maintaining a healthy and robust forest industry and the
communities that depend on them.”

“Prohibiting logging in provincial parks will contribute to
preserving Manitoba’s rich diversity of habitats and species,”
said Canadian Parks and Wilderness Societyspokesperson Ron
Thiessen. “Protecting these natural areas will benefit park
visitors and sustainable tourism entrepreneurs for generations to

The five provincial parks were formally established in the 1960s
and 1970s.  Timber from Whiteshell Provincial Park area was
historically used to supply many smaller sawmills dating back to
the 1880s. The history of logging in Nopiming Provincial Park
area dates back to the 1920s.



  • Effective April 1, 2009, logging would be prohibited from 79 out of 80 provincial parks and all future parks.
  • The origin of Manitoba’s parks goes back to the early 1900s when a number of forest reserves were established in Manitoba by the federal government.  Forestry roads opened scenic woodlands to the public, followed by campgrounds and cottages.
  • The four provincial parks where logging would be removed were formally established in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • In 1992, the Clean Environment Commission recommended the removal of Nopiming Provincial Park from Tembec’s Forest Management Licence Agreement by 1996.
  • The four provincial parks in which logging would cease are:
  • Nopiming – 1,429 square kilometres bordering the north end of the Whiteshell’s Canadian Shield country, scattered with hundreds of lakes trimmed by granite rock and sheltered by stands of black spruce, birch and aspen trees.
  • Whiteshell – 2,721 square kilometres of rushing rivers, over 200 clear deep lakes, sand beaches and jack pine, located east of Winnipeg along the Manitoba-Ontario boundary.
  • Clearwater Lake – 593 square kilometres, located in northwestern Manitoba and surrounded by boreal forest interspersed with meadows, and aspen and oak parkland.
  • Grass River – 2,279 square kilometres, located north of The Pas and characterized by the rivers and lakes of the Grass River system and the contact zone between the boreal forest and the Manitoba lowlands.
  • Recent statistics indicate Manitoba’s primary forest sector, which includes logging and paper manufacturing, was responsible for approximately $259 million or 0.8 per cent of Manitoba’s gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The primary forest industry employed Manitobans in approximately 2,500 direct jobs in logging, paper product manufacturing and related support activities.

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