During the summer of 2005, a large area of southeastern Manitobaï¿½s forest was destroyed by a savage wind storm with gale force winds in excess of 150 km per hour. This storm uprooted and destroyed more than 180,000 cubic meters of mature pine forest within a populated region located in the rural municipality of Piney in southeastern Manitoba. This will be the final phase of planting and will conclude the efforts that began in 2007.
Need for Trees
Trees that once sequestered carbon, prevented soil erosion, and beautified the landscape were devastated. This natural disaster had a huge impact on many communities within the municipality of Piney. Tree cover was stripped off the landscape, leaving forested communities such as Sandilands with no tree cover. Hundreds of hectares of forestland have blown down, creating a loss of habitat and food for wildlife and a loss of buffer for the local watershed.
The area plays a key role in protecting the larger Red River Basin watershed. The newly planted forest will help to trap water and snow and release it slowly into Manitobaï¿½s lakes and streams. According to scientists at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, loadings of phosphorus from the Red River Basin have increased by over 50% in the last ten years. This project would be a great step in reversing the nutrient loading into area waterways and also helping to clean the local streams, lakes, and watershed.