Natural Region 14
STATUS OF NATIONAL PARKS:
In 1994 Canada and Manitoba announced the commencement of the Manitoba Lowlands national park feasibility study - an investigation to determine the best option or combination of options for a national park to represent the Manitoba Lowlands natural region. The study focussed on three areas in Manitoba's Interlake - Long Point, Little Limestone Lake and Hecla-Grindstone.
In early 1996 the governments announced the results of initial investigations and consultations, and initiated a second-round of public consultations. As a result of the initial work, a possible combination of three, and perhaps four, distinct examples of the region is being presented for public discussion - the park will in all likelihood consist of two or more geographically discrete components.
The combination includes the Long Point component - the core area of the proposed park - providing a land bridge connecting two of the world's outstanding freshwater lakes, Lake Winnipeg and Lake Winnipegosis. A mix of upland and lowland topography and associated wetlands, vegetation and habitats make this area particularly representative of the region. The overlap of the ranges of moose, elk, woodland caribou and deer is significant. The Limestone Bay component contains caves carved by centuries of water erosion of the limestone bedrock, and a portion of Limestone Bay is important as spawning habitat for walleye. A third area focusing on Black Island, Deer Island and an assortment of small islands in Lake Winnipeg within Hecla Provincial Park displays unique features not occurring elsewhere in the proposed park, including the northernmost occurrence of red pine in Canada. Hecla Island itself would remain as a provincial park. A number of islands in Lake Winnipegosis are possible additions as a fourth component of the park because of their vast array of waterfowl and shorebird colonies, some of the greatest concentrations and diversities of inland colonial nesting bird species anywhere in Canada.
By using a combination of sites, features that would not have otherwise been present in a single-unit national park could be included.
Each component brings unique and important characteristics to the mix and together they provide a good representation of Interlake the Manitoba Lowlands.
If at the conclusion of consultations the governments of Canada and Manitoba agree that a national park is feasible, negotiation of a federal-provincial agreement to establish the park will be the next step.
Natural Region 14
© Parks Canada
The following table summarizes the status of system planning for each step towards establishing a new national park in this natural region.
Steps in the Park Establishment Process
Representative Natural Areas Identified:
Potential Park Area Selected:
Park Feasibility Assessed:
Park Agreement Signed:
Scheduled under the National Parks Act:
National Parks System Plan, 3rd Edition