Size – Close to 80% of Manitoba is boreal forest and over 50% of this vast area is wetland and water, making it an important region for wetland-dependent wildlife. The main industries in the area are forestry, mineral exploration and mining, and hydro-electric developments.
Projects – Although much of the boreal forest in Manitoba is intact and undeveloped, ongoing industrial growth is increasing the need to have guidelines for land use to protect wetlands while still meeting industry needs. For several years Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has been working in partnership with Louisiana Pacific Canada in Swan River to develop a comprehensive wetland inventory and on-the-ground activities to help industry protect wetland systems. This important work will help build land use guidelines across the boreal forest.
Priorities – We are currently working with the Manitoba Government as they develop a Peatland Stewardship Strategy for the boreal and to identify important wetlands to be protected under the Crown Lands Act.
Another priority is wetland inventory for the southern boreal forest. While there are many wetlands in the province, only about 12% are inventoried. Keeping an inventory of wetlands will help us know which ones are the most important for waterfowl and other wildlife, and should be a high priority for conservation.