A Model Forest brings together individuals and organizations with a variety of forest values. Together they form a partnership with the common goal of sustainable forest practices, which provide benefit today, while ensuring a healthy forest to sustain the communities it contains. The multi-interest membership of each Model Forest is committed to demonstrating how different social, environmental, cultural, and economic interests can work together. The Manitoba Model Forest is developing new and better ways for people to grow with the forest through sustainable development. A non-profit organization, its activities are directed by a Board representing over 25 diverse forest interests. It brings together environmentalists, industry, all levels of government, local communities, economic development groups, unions, universities, aboriginal organizations and First Nations communities. Together they share knowledge and resources in their mutual quest for a sustainable future for Manitoba's boreal forest. The Manitoba Model Forest became a part of the Forest Communities Program during the fall of 2007. This new, federally funded program focuses on both forests and the rural communities that rely on them. Learn more about us by clicking on the additional Manitoba Model Forest links, or visit some of our program area links to review our activities or download documents.
The Manitoba Model Forest area is located approximately 100 km northeast of the City of Winnipeg and is bounded on the west by Lake Winnipeg and on the east by the Manitoba/Ontario border. The area is contained within the Lac Seul Upland and the Lake of the Woods Ecoregions, which form part of the Boreal Shield Ecozone of Canada. The MBMF area is 1,047,069 hectares (approximately 10,000 km2) in size. The Model Forest area includes forest areas designated for resource development (timber harvesting, mining, wildlife outfitting, etc.), Provincial Parks, Provincially designated protected areas, and local government and First Nation communities which rely on the goods and services provided by the forest.
Our organization was established in 1992, as part of the Model Forest Program of the Canadian government. The Model Forest Program was developed in response to national and international commitments surrounding the need to move towards sustainable forest management. These commitments included those made at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, as well as those found in Canada's first ever National Forest Strategy and the Canada’s Forest Accord. The Manitoba Model Forest was one of ten Model Forest sites selected during a competitive process to participate in the Model Forest Program. The Model Forest Program, and the network of sites across Canada which became known as the Canadian Model Forest Network, quickly became internationally recognized for its innovative approaches to engaging diverse stakeholders in the local management of the nation's forested landscape, as well as an important vehicle to develop new and innovative processes and tools to improve forest management. In the fall of 2007, and after 15 successful years, the Model Forest Program came to an end.
With a desire to continue the legacy, the Canadian Model Forest Network, once a program of the Canadian government, incorporated as an independent non-government organization. The Manitoba Model Forest continues to be a proud member of the Network.
In the spring of 2006, the Canadian government announced the creation of a new program focused on both forests and the rural communities that rely on them. Called the Forest Communities Program (FCP), the Canadian Forest Service released a request for proposals to all non-government organizations across Canada to become part of the new program. The Manitoba Model Forest application was successful and we became a site funded under the Forest Communities Program of Natural Resources Canada-Canadian Forest Service in the fall of 2007. As part of the development of our application, we engaged all of our current partner organizations and sought out new partners. Download a copy of the MBMF proposal to the Forest Communities Program Proposal in PDF format.
Over the years, the Manitoba Model Forest has benefited from the financial and in-kind support of numerous and funding partners. These include all levels of government (federal, provincial, municipal), industries, non-government organizations and individuals. Their generous contributions have greatly contributed to our success.