Manitoba is home of the greatest, world-class wilderness in the world, including the East Shore Wilderness Area, the largest intact forest North of the equator. Where most of the world's forests have been reduced to mere slivers of intact growth through industrial resource extraction, Manitoba is the exception. Its a place where someone can still be over a hundred miles from the nearest concrete road and drink water strait from thousands of pristine, undeveloped lakes, though it sits a mere hour's drive away from a huge population center.
Dozens of First Nations communities still practice and celebrate traditional livelihoods alongside access to modern technology. Their ability to continue these activities like hunting, trapping, fishing and gathering medicines are tied directly and inextricably to the health of the forest. The scope of communities that this issue affects goes well beyond the local people who are directly reliant on the forest. The rest of the world relies on it indirectly. Boreal forest is the largest on-land carbon sink on the planet, helping keep carbon levels in balance, it is the largest source of clean, available fresh water on the planet and acts as a huge sponge, filtering toxins from the air and surrounding environment and filtering out fresh are and water. Humanity needs this forest to exist, in its intact form, not just because of the crucial ecosystem services it provides, like air and water filtration but because we need true wilderness for the human soul. Studies by Carleton University's psychology department have shown that a connection with nature is directly linked to happiness.
The problem is that not nearly enough people in Manitoba, Canada or internationally are aware of this forest and how immensely it contributes to human health, sustainability and happiness. As a result, Manitoba's Provincial Park system, the only system of protecting Manitoba's lands has allowed industrial resource development such and logging and mining to ravage what should be protected areas. While in most other countries and jurisdictions recognizes parks as areas for habitat, health, and recreation, Manitoba continually allows their parks to be fragmented and damaged by developments that go unsupported by the majority of its population. Another result of this disconnect and apathy is that While the East Shore area is virtually undisturbed by modern developments right now, there are current proposals for hundreds of kilometres of all-weather roads, and increased forest-destructive developments such as clearcut logging and mining.