October 11, 2007

Conservation Minister Stan Struthers today congratulated the Canadian Parks
and Wilderness Society and Tembec forestry corporation for negotiating a
50-year halt to logging in woodland caribou habitats on the east side of
Lake Winnipeg.

“This government wholeheartedly supports this move to protect the important
caribou habitat which is critical to maintaining populations of this
threatened species,” said Struthers.  “Protecting our province’s boreal
forests is the key to caribou survival and to ensuring we keep Manitoba
pristine for future generations.”

Manitoba’s woodland caribou population is estimated to be between 1,800 and
3,100 animals.  Last year, woodland caribou was listed as a threatened
species under the Manitoba Endangered Species Act.

The 26,000-hectare area that cannot be harvested is the winter core zone of
the Owl Lake woodland caribou herd.  A 50-year halt to forestry operations
in the area will provide security for the herd’s habitat while allowing
ongoing research to identify more about the survival needs of this
threatened species.

The Owl Lake woodland caribou herd is located in Manitoba’s southernmost
caribou range.  The Manitoba government recognizes major threats to the
caribou such as habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.  Woodland
caribou are an indicator species of boreal forest health.  Where there are
caribou, there are intact robust boreal forests.  When the caribou are gone,
it’s a clear sign the ecology of that forest has been severely damaged, said

The minister also congratulated Tembec on its recent Forest Stewardship
Council (FSC) certification for its forestry practices on Forest Management
Licence 1, a 900,000-hectare public forest licence in eastern Manitoba.
This is the first forest in the province of Manitoba to be audited and
certified in accordance with the stewardship council’s National Boreal

The stewardship council is an international certification and labelling
system that guarantees that forest products with the FSC label come from
responsibly-managed forests and verified recycled sources.

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