Sylvia Lake is located near town of Pinawa, northeast of Winnipeg. (Google Maps)

Meditation and Sylvia lakes in Whiteshell Provincial Park will be preserved as natural, protected areas, free from development, the Manitoba government announced Tuesday.

Meditation Lake was considered last year as possible sites for a Tim Hortons Foundation Leadership Camp but public backlash canned the plans.

Meditation Lake is a gateway to Horseshoe Lake, a popular canoeing area in the Whiteshell, and a wilderness group argued that many other areas of the Whiteshell were already developed and better suited to the camp.

Those arguments and a public consultation process during the camp consideration "led to our decision to ensure the Meditation Lake area remains as undeveloped backcountry," Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie stated in a news release on Tuesday.

An area west of Sylvia Lake was instead chosen and approved for the camp.

However, Tuesday's announcement means "the lands adjacent to the camp at Sylvia Lake will not be developed or made accessible for new cottage development," Blaikie said.

"The Meditation and Sylvia lake areas will be managed as natural, undeveloped landscapes for today and for future generations  A land-use category change will be initiated in the near future, adding an additional level of protection to these sites."

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Meditation Lake

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Sylvia Lake