08/26/2013 05:34 EDT | Updated 10/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Manitoba expands ecological reserve and expands boundaries of existing one

WINNIPEG - Manitoba is creating a new ecological reserve and expanding the boundaries of an existing one to better protect two sites in southeastern Manitoba.

Conservation Minister Gord Mackintosh says protecting an entire ecosystem is the best way to ensure the well-being of species and landscapes.

The new 76-hectare Holmgren Pines Ecological Reserve is located 30 kilometres northeast of Sprague.

It is the only known site in Manitoba where all three native pine species — eastern white pine, red pine and Jack pine — grow together.

The readjusted boundaries at the Pocock Lake Ecological Reserve, 30 kilometres southeast of Steinbach, will now include 81 hectares of undisturbed wetlands.

Commercial logging, mining, hydroelectric development and oil and gas activity are all banned in the protected areas.