Giving Tuesday is a global movement for giving, taking place each year after Black Friday. The “Opening day of the giving season – Giving Tuesday,” is a dedicated day when communities can support a charity of their choice. On this day MWF is asking for your essential support to help us continue to advocate for sustainable wildlife management, safe hunting practices, increased enforcement, and the assurance that our hunting, angling, and outdoor traditions are protected now, and for future generations.
Our success to date can be attributed to the incredible support from our membership and sponsors.
Your support on this day, will enable the Federation to continue to work on the following important advocacy files and programming initiatives that will have lasting positive benefits for Manitoba’s fish and wildlife populations, MWF members, Affiliate Clubs, and all Manitoba outdoor enthusiasts.
INVESTMENTS IN FISH AND WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
MWF has called for increased staffing and program funding support. Government for the most part, has responded to this call for action and has hired 10 new fish and wildlife staff and provided increased funding for fisheries and wildlife management for the first time in decades. Additional hires are still needed to adequately support the Fish and Wildlife Branches.
INCREASED ENFORCEMENT TO CURTAIL ILLEGAL HUNTING ACTIVITIES
Since 2015, the MWF on behalf of our members, has been calling for a strong commitment from the province to support Conservation Officers (CO) adequately so they can provide effective enforcement on the ground. We are pleased with the governments immediate action on this new legislation. 5 new conservation officer recruits have now joined the enforcement team full-time and six new conservation officer recruits have started their core-skills training. We also received confirmation that the government provided $300,000 of new dedicated money to curtail night lighting infractions. The Manitoba Conservation Officer Association and the MWF have long been collaborators and partners. The MWF realizes how critical the CO Service is to the sustainability of our fish and wildlife resources and stands ready to support the COs and the execution of a plan to revitalize rural law enforcement.
SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
MWF has for many years been advocating for a revamp of our recreational angling regulations and the need for third party eco-certification of our four big commercially fished lakes: Cedar Lake, Lake Winnipegosis, Lake Manitoba, and Lake Winnipeg. Government launched engagement on a wide-spread modernization of Manitoba’s recreational angling framework which introduced a new vision for recreational angling in Manitoba aimed at simplifying the regulations, enhancing opportunities, protecting our waters from the transfer of Aquatic Invasive Species, and at the same time, increasing sustainability.
Government has made mesh size changes to Lake Winnipeg and invested millions in much needed quota buyback for our commercially fished lakes and placed that funding in trust, to benefit fish, fishers, anglers, and subsistence harvesters. We await the second round of buybacks that is a key part of the eco-certification process and the implementation of our newly modeled angling regulations.
IMPROVED FISHERIES MANAGEMENT ON LAKE WINNIPEG THROUGH ANGLING ASSESSMENT AND EDUCATION PROJECT
Over the past couple years, our province has embarked on significant changes to angling regulations in Manitoba coupled with an impressive increase in recreational angling popularity. The collection of fisheries data, combined with effective angler education are critical factors in ensuring our fisheries are used and managed sustainably. The MWF is thrilled to deliver an “Improved Fisheries Management through Angling Assessment and Education Project” on Lake Winnipeg. The project has two components – 1) To secure a recreational angling coordinator to assist with public communication around angling awareness, recruitment and provide education to anglers on Manitoba’s impending angling regulation changes; and 2) To conduct creel surveys to improve the understanding of angler use and harvest on Lake Winnipeg. MWF looks forward to communicating and enhancing the sustainable use and management of legally harvestable fish and wildlife populations in Manitoba through this fisheries enhancement project.
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE
Despite all efforts to defend our borders through active testing sites, mandatory monitoring along the western border, and ongoing communications on how to prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), our first confirmed case was reported in Manitoba west of Lake of the Prairies. As hunters, producers, and landowners in Manitoba, it is so important that we work with the government on newly implemented management strategies to contain the spread in various areas and help eradicate CWD in our cervid populations. The Manitoba Wildlife Federation will do everything we can to help communicate information, regulations, and newly implemented management strategies from the government to all our members going forward.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA PILOT PROJECTS
The WMA pilot project initiatives continues to move forward on the Langruth and Broomhill Wildlife Management Areas. Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are Crown lands designated to conserve habitat as well as provide opportunities for hunting, trapping and wildlife viewing. This pilot will demonstrate how various habitat management techniques can provide improved habitat for harvestable wildlife species and species at risk.
Each Project will:
- Enhance mixed grass prairie habitat through managed grazing and other techniques
- Increase wildlife production
- Improve grassland bird and species at risk habitat
- Management of woody vegetation
- Deliver activities to raise the profile of Wildlife Management Areas.
The outcome from these Pilot Projects will result in adoption of improved habitat management techniques in other appropriate WMAs. WMAs are important to so many Manitobans and the accessibility to these WMA’s is invaluable, especially for those that do not have access to private property, to enjoy hunting and other outdoor endeavors.
BILL 29 – SAFE HUNTING AND SHARED MANAGEMENT
Manitoba’s new Wildlife Amendment Act (Safe Hunting and Shared Management) took effect with a goal of protecting big game populations and ensuring a safe hunting environment – a priority for the MWF and our members since 2015. Big game populations, particularly moose, are suffering from the lack of a coherent shared management framework to allocate harvest between Indigenous and licensed hunters. Many areas of the province where moose once thrived are now closed to all hunting due to low populations. MWF will continue to advocate for the development of a Shared Management regime that will ensure sustainability of our big game populations and hunting opportunities for all Manitobans.
HUNTER AND ANGLING EDUCATION AND TRAINING
MWF has been delivering a variety of hunting, angling and outdoor related virtual How-To workshops, amid the pandemic, to offer resources and training for new hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts in Manitoba. We were also able to safely deliver range training days and fishing workshops. Provided Covid permits, MWF has a roster of new and reoccurring programs for 2022 planned. Contributions will help the Federation provide new hunters and anglers with additional resources, support, and mentorship programs across the province.
BILL C-21: PROVINCIAL ADVISORY GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS
Bill C-21 was introduced by the Federal Government in February of 2021. This Federal proposal impacts handgun enthusiasts directly, but it also impacts the firearms industry, resource tourism operators, sport and competitive shooters, and our Affiliate Clubs with handgun ranges.
The MWF participated on the Provincial Firearm Advisory Group to review the legislation, detail how it affects Manitobans, and make recommendations for the province’s consideration.
The detailed review prepared by the committee and the recommendations put forth to the province was provided to the Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development in early May 2020. A follow-up and future discussions will be requested from the new Premier.
Together we have made great strides in the province, but now the Federation needs you more than ever and counts on gifts and donations from supporters like you to continue pursuing files that are instrumental to our outdoor passions and lifestyles.
No gift is too small. On Giving Tuesday only, your donation will make double the impact towards sustaining our advocacy efforts – thanks to our generous matching sponsor – Inview Insurance.
MWF is constantly growing and looking for new ways to engage on the issues that matter to our members. As you consider your charitable donations in 2021, we ask that you support MWF’s work on this Giving Tuesday!