Funds increased for habitat preservation

A program that helps preserve the Prairie landscape that is home to Manitoba wildlife will be provided a 20 per cent increase in provincial support, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers has announced.

“New support for the Critical Wildlife Habitat Program (CWHP) will help conserve grassland habitat that is home to threatened and endangered Prairie wildlife,” Struthers said. “This support is a demonstration of our commitment to protect our natural heritage for future generations.”

The provincial grant will increase by $10,000, bringing annual support to $60,000 annually. The CWHP is cost shared by the province, the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation and other agencies on a project-by-project basis.

“It is critical to the health of our planet that we make investments that enhance the health of native grasslands that are home to Prairie wildlife,” said Wolseley MLA Rob Altemeyer, speaking on behalf of Struthers. “This program will ensure the continued success of this very important program.”

The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, which also helps support the program and was established in 1986, recently marked a milestone in signing its 400th consecutive conservation agreement.

Programs delivered by the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporat ion (MHHC) are part of the initiatives the Manitoba government supports to ensure producers are rewarded for being responsible stewards of the land. Other initiatives supported by government include:

Cover ing New Ground: Funding is in place for various projects related to sustainable farm production practices including enhancing carbon sinks and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Riparian Tax Credit: Tax incentives for producers to enable upgrades to the management of lakeshores and river and stream banks for environmental benefit.

Retail sales tax exemption for manure treatment equipment: This incentive to promote environmentally safe handling of manure on farm livestock operations works by providing a provincial sales tax break on equipment such as slurry tanks, lagoon liners, biodigesters, composters and separation systems.

Agricultural Policy Framework: Environmental Farm Planning and the associated Canada-Manitoba Stewardship Program ($32.67 million between 2003 and 2008) foster the health of soil, water, air and biodiversity through incentives from best management practices (BMPs).

BMP water protection top-up: This program funds up to 25 per cent of the costs associated with implementing BMPs related to water management with greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits.

North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP): MHHC has co-ordinated the implementation of the NAWMP partnership in Manitoba since 1986. NAWMP is an international action plan to conserve migratory birds throughout the continent. This conservation partnership operates in Canada, the United States and Mexico with a goal to return waterfowl populations to their 1970s levels by conserving wetland and upland habitat. The NAWMP component that MHHC delivers, Potholes Plus, focuses on long-term conservation and enhancement of Prairie wetlands and associated habitat.

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