September 6, 2004

Sask adds new land to network of protected areas

REGINA, SASK-The Mistatim Swamp, in east-central Saskatchewan, was included in the 32,500 hectares (80,000 acres) of Crown land recently given protection under Saskatchewan's Wildlife Habitat Protection Act. Home to a variety of plants and wildlife including black spruce, moose and waterfowl, the Mistatim Swamp is considered an excellent example of Saskatchewan's natural environment and ecological diversity. The latest lands to be added to the protected areas are all within what is called the Boreal Plain Ecozone, an area immediately south of the provincial forest; it stretches from the Manitoba border to the Alberta border. This newly protected land has been added to province's Representative Areas Network, which currently includes 5.7 million hectares, or more than 14 million acres. The Network consists of existing and new wildlife land, riparian areas, wetlands, protected areas, bird sanctuaries, ecological reserves and prairie rangelands. "It is important that we continue to protect, whenever possible, natural areas that are ecologically significant," said Environment Minister David Forbes. "Although this protection means many activities are either prohibited or require permission, the philosophy of The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act is to allow traditional and compatible uses, such as grazing and sustainable forest harvesting, to occur." More information is available from Conrad Olson at Saskatchewan Environment, 306/787-2385,E-mail:
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