Riding Mountain UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve (RMBR), one of 18 Biosphere Reserves in Canada, was designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1986. It is a special area within which people are encouraged to demonstrate better approaches to conservation and sustainable resource use.
The core protected area, Riding Mountain National Park, covers some 3,000 square kilometers of mixedwood forest, eastern deciduous forest, and rough fescue prairie. RMBR also includes a Zone of Cooperation which consists of the 12 municipalities and 4 First Nations that surround the Park, comprising an additional 12,000 square kilometers. The RMBR is encompassed primarily by Treaty 2 and to the west adjoined to Treaty 4. The landscape has been settled and managed by First Nations people since time immemorial.
The RMBR is rich in lakes, streams and natural habitat. Development within the Biosphere Reserve has largely been for the growing of grain and forage crops, and for the production of livestock. Hunting, guiding, and eco-tourism also contribute to the local economy.
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Zebra Mussels and Invasive Species
PROVINCE ISSUES UPDATE ON AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES CASE IN EASTERN MANITOBA
Manitoba Sustainable Development reports the province’s ongoing aquatic invasive species (AIS) monitoring has found a single suspect zebra mussel in Singush Lake in the southeast portion of Duck Mountain Provincial Park.
In December of 2017 zebra mussel environmental DNA (eDNA) was identified at Whirlpool Lake in Riding Mountain National Park. As a result of this Whirlpool Lake and Campground will be closed to campers and all watercraft indefinitely. No live zebra mussels or zebra mussels larvae (veligers) have been found at Whirlpool Lake. Testing will continue at the site in the 2018 season.
As part of the ongoing efforts for monitoring and early detection of AIS, submerged test equipment called substrate samplers were placed in lakes and rivers across the province. These substrate samplers were collected at the end of the season in 2016 and analyzed over the winter. During this analysis, a single damaged mussel was discovered on one of the samplers from Singush Lake. DNA testing conducted by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans confirmed the sample was consistent with the zebra mussel species.
As a result of this finding, the provincial government is considering Singush Lake “suspect for zebra mussels” and is implementing its early detection and rapid response protocol at this lake. This work will involve ongoing monitoring during the upcoming open-water season on Singush Lake and surrounding water bodies.
Manitobans are reminded to take an active role in preventing the spread of AIS such as zebra mussels by ensuring any vessels or objects that have been in the water are cleaned, drained and dried. Boaters are also reminded the province will once again have decontamination units and watercraft inspection staff located at high-traffic areas of the province this summer. Boaters are reminded to stop at watercraft inspection stations set up on the highways to ensure watercraft are not transporting AIS.
For more information on aquatic invasive species, visit www.manitoba.ca/stopthespread or call (toll-free) 1-87-STOP AIS-0 (1-877-867-2470).
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“At the Farm Gate” Spring Market Video
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“At the Farm Gate” Spring Market – Saturday, September 15, 2018
A yearlong celebration highlighting the people, places, cultural locations and festivals of the Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve.