First of Its Kind in Manitoba … Significant Peatlands Regulation


MANITOBA (Regulation 6/2023)

January 24, 2023

On January 20, 2023 the Province of Manitoba registered the Provincially Significant Peatlands Regulation. The regulation is under The Peatlands Stewardship Act of Manitoba. The Peatlands Stewardship Act is a regulatory scheme to protect Crown peatland while providing for sustainably managed commercial development of peat.

The Provincially Significant Peatlands Regulation defines “agricultural activity” which includes grazing and the harvesting of turf or sod. In addition, the regulation designates the following areas as “provincially significant peatland”: Fish Lake Fen and Moswa Meadows as provincially Significant Peatland. The regulation prohibits any logging or any other type of forestry activity and any type of agricultural activity.

The designation of approximately 28,000 hectares (69,000 acres) is the first of its kind in the province, home to 17 per cent of Canadian peatlands and covering over one-third of Manitoba’s landmass.

As per the provincial website, peatlands – which offer valuable environmental benefits such as water regulation and purification, exceptional carbon sequestration capabilities, and provide habitat for a diverse array of wildlife – represent about 90% of all wetlands in Manitoba.

Peatlands are a unique type of wetland ecosystem with organic soil, called peat. Peat is partly decomposed plant material that forms in poorly-drained, low oxygen, acidic environments. Under these conditions, plant material accumulates faster than it decomposes and slowly forms peatlands over thousands of years. Peat is primarily made up of a specific type of moss, called Sphagnum moss, but can also be made from other wetland moss and plant species. By the Canadian definition, peatlands have a minimum of 40cm of peat.

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