Debwendon has become aware that there are some gravel leases coming up for renewal in 2020 that are in close proximity to the Brokenhead Wetland Ecological Reserve adjacent to the trail. Based on a study conducted by Manitoba Conservation and Climate in 2017 the source water for the wetland is contained within the aquifer under the surface affected by these leases. If the leases are renewed and extraction starts up in these areas the wetland could be negatively impacted. We have already noticed that drought conditions have reduced the number of orchids in the wetland in the last two years. Extracting gravel can expose groundwater to the atmosphere thus exacerbating water losses, not to mention other potential physical changes such as water chemistry. If the quarry lease renewals are denied, we have asked our representative in Parks, to investigate the possibility of having these areas included in the ecological reserve which would protect them from any further development.
We hope to resolve this issue with the Province, as well as the gravel test-pitting with the RM of St. Clements (outlined in the blog below). If you are in support of Debwendon’s efforts to protect the trail, the wetland, and the ecological reserve, please let us know your thoughts on the information outlined above.