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October 1, 2015
PROVINCE ANNOUNCES THREE SPECIAL TREES NOW PROTECTEDFirst-of-its-kind Heritage Trees Program Underway: Minister Nevakshonoff
Manitoba has partnered with the Manitoba Forestry Association (MFA) and Trees Winnipeg to create the first provincial Heritage Trees Program in Canada, and has officially designated three Manitoba trees as heritage trees, Conservation and Water Stewardship Minister Tom Nevakshonoff announced today.
“Special trees deserve recognition so they can be protected, especially if they have played an important role in Manitoba history or have unique characteristics,” said Minister Nevakshonoff. “This program will help ensure these trees are protected and their histories are shared with locals and visitors alike.”
The minister said this first-of-its-kind program is designed to increase public recognition that trees are an important feature of the Manitoba landscape. Trees may be nominated as a heritage tree if they are:
- historically or culturally significant;
- notable because of their unique location, specific characteristics, or have attracted other public or scientific recognition;
- the largest or oldest of its species in Manitoba; or
- extremely rare in Manitoba.
The first three trees to receive the special designation are the Point Douglas School cottonwood, planted in 1891, the Waterloo Street American elm, planted in 1905, and the Souris old oak in Souris, which is believed to be approximately 550 years old and is thought to be one of the oldest trees in Manitoba.
“This program and the partnership with the province will allow us to build on the previous work of creating an inventory, or honour roll, of special trees here in Manitoba,” said Patricia Pohrebniuk, executive director, Manitoba Forestry Association. “With this program we hope to raise Manitobans’ appreciation and understanding of the important role of trees and forests in our communities, our environment and our natural history.”
Anyone can nominate a tree for heritage designation. Nominations will be reviewed by the Manitoba Heritage Tree Review Committee and based on established criteria, a select number of trees will be brought forward for designation.
“Trees add life and character to our neighborhoods and many trees are older than the houses built around them,” said Kerienne La France, executive director, Trees Winnipeg. “There are many exceptional trees in this city that serve as community landmarks or have an interesting history behind them, and this program will help us share that rich heritage with all Manitobans.”
Trees that do not receive formal designation under the heritage tree program will remain part of the Manitoba Tree Register. The minister noted communities may also benefit from having a tree designated as a tourist attraction.
Designation of a heritage tree on Crown land means the tree cannot be removed, unless there is a risk to forest health, public safety or to accommodate necessary infrastructure work. Municipalities will be encouraged to offer similar protection to heritage trees, and protection of heritage trees on private property will be encouraged, at the discretion of the property owner.
For more information or to download a nomination form, visit www.manitobatreeregister.ca.
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