Cattail (Typha spp.) Harvesting in Manitoba: A legislative and market analysis for operationalization and carbon emission offsets

By Dimple Roy, Richard Grosshans, Philip Gass, Matthew McCandless, Henry David Venema, Rosemary Dohan, Henry David Venema on July 23, 2013

Research findings from the Netley-Libau Nutrient-Bioenergy project are encouraging replication of the cattail harvesting concept in areas in the Manitoba, Minnesota and North Dakota regions of the Lake Winnipeg watershed.

It is also increasingly being seen as a component of an integrated nutrient and surface water management plan. As a result of this replication, there is a need to understand and synthesize the legislative and policy implications in Manitoba of the harvesting of cattails (Typha spp.) and other potential plants or ecological biomass with similar benefits (i.e., Phragmites reeds, reed canary grass, willows). This analysis will ensure that the operationalization of these new value chains as part of a Manitoba bioeconomy includes sustainable processes for due diligence. It also ensures that these value chains are subject to appropriate oversight to ensure that social, economic and environmental needs and concerns are balanced in the best way possible.

This report presents a legislative review of cattail (Typha spp.) harvesting in Manitoba. Our review found that the harvest of cattails and other similar ecological biomass is not currently explicitly included in any federal or provincial legislation, policy or programming. This study provides some research and analysis to understand the current and potential positions of cattail harvesting in Manitoba. Based on our review, we present two management scenarios in this report that include legislation, policies and programming:

  1. A private benefit harvesting scenario based on other resource extraction programs similar to for-profit activities like wild rice harvesting. This scenario is relevant for both Crown and private lands.
  2. A publicly funded land management assistance scenario, where private corporations are contracted to harvest cattails in areas of concern. This scenario can be used on Crown lands in this way, or for private lands using incentives such as those used for agricultural beneficial management practices or other tax credits to land owners.

Report details

Focus area
IISD, 2013