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Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Water levels, not ATVs, helping speed decline of Piping Plover

The NDP’s ban on ATVs on the Grand Marais sand spit near Grand Beach and the Riverton Sandy Bar falls short of addressing the real problem with the decline of the Piping Plover.

Banning ATVs on the nesting areas left on Lake Winnipeg may be necessary to protect those few areas left for the Piping Plover, but the real cause of their decline is poor water management on Lake Manitoba.

Historically Lake Manitoba beaches provided most of the habitat for this endangered species. However, after over a decade of record-high levels of water on the lake caused by the NDP’s poor water management, the nesting habitat of the birds has been annihilated, virtually eliminating their presence around this lake.

Disaster years like 2011, combined with continued high water on the lake have destroyed beach nesting areas and severely damaged the vulnerable beach ridges.

ATVs may contribute to the decline in Piping Plover, but the real problem is continued high lake levels. The government has the management tools to keep these lakes at a reasonable level, but isn’t using them. Why not deal with the real problem so the next generation has a chance to see the real Piping Plover, not a picture on a plaque in a plaza?

Ian Wishart

Progressive Conservative MLA

for Portage la Prairie

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 26, 2014

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Besides being a politician, Wishart is a noted natural resource conservationist. Thus he is likely to know the subject matter better than most.

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The NDP’s ban on ATVs on the Grand Marais sand spit near Grand Beach and the Riverton Sandy Bar falls short of addressing the real problem with the decline of the Piping Plover.

Banning ATVs on the nesting areas left on Lake Winnipeg may be necessary to protect those few areas left for the Piping Plover, but the real cause of their decline is poor water management on Lake Manitoba.

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The NDP’s ban on ATVs on the Grand Marais sand spit near Grand Beach and the Riverton Sandy Bar falls short of addressing the real problem with the decline of the Piping Plover.

Banning ATVs on the nesting areas left on Lake Winnipeg may be necessary to protect those few areas left for the Piping Plover, but the real cause of their decline is poor water management on Lake Manitoba.

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