Nature Manitoba welcomes the establishment of the new Little Limestone Lake Provincial Park announced today by Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie. Because of the international significance of Little Limestone Lake, the largest and best marl lake on the planet and one of the most beautiful lakes in Manitoba, today's park announcement is one of the most important in recent years.
"This park has been a long time coming" said Nature Manitoba President Roger Turenne. "It has been 19 years since Nature Manitoba and the Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) first brought the unique properties of the lake (changing to a robin's-egg blue with warming temperatures) to the attention of governments and recommended it for protection."
The fact that Little Limestone Lake is situated in an area with mineral potential has been the main cause of slow progress. "We are pleased to note that some of these obstacles have been overcome, and we particularly welcome Manitoba Conservation's commitment that "The ecological integrity of Little Limestone Lake is to be maintained in perpetuity." said Mr. Turenne.
Nature Manitoba and CPAWS have worked closely with Mosakahiken Cree Nation, on whose traditional lands the new park will be established, in pressing for protection of the lake. "I would like to commend Chief Phillip Buck for his vision for his community which encompasses not only economic development, but a strong belief that this development should be based on sustainable principles, respect for the land, and protection of Little Limestone Lake and the lands around it." said Mr. Turenne.
Today's park announcement provides core protection for Little Limestone Lake and a commitment on the part of Manitoba Conservation and Mosakahiken Cree Nation to begin work on a management plan for the park within 60 days. This process will, among other things "explore opportunities for expanding the boundaries of Little Limestone Lake Provincial Park." Nature Manitoba welcomes this approach and looks forward to cooperating with government and other stakeholders in achieving long-term, full and effective protection for this jewel among Manitoba's lakes.