I got this good news email from the Wilderness Committee to share:
I just wanted to let you know that we have some great news regarding federal protection of a small portion of BC’s South Okanagan-Similkameen region. This week, we took a giant step forward in establishing a national park reserve in this endangered ecosystem because of the vision of the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA).
On Tuesday, at a press conference in Osoyoos, the ONA released their own study and announced that the national park reserve proposal should move forward. This is amazing news because federal protection for this area has been stalled since the BC government unilaterally pulled out of the process last year. Click here to read a news story about this week’s developments from the Globe and Mail.
In 2003, the provincial and federal governments agreed to consider if a national park reserve was feasible and initiated a park feasibility study. In 2010, a joint report was released which indicated that a national park reserve could be negotiated and the process should commence as soon as possible.
Polls show that residents in the area support the national park reserve by a ratio of more than two-to-one. And local governments, businesses and business associations – including the Osoyoos Town Council, the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce, the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen and the Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association – are also in favour of establishing a national park reserve in this region.
With all of these groups in agreement about the proposed park, this announcement by the Okanagan Nation Alliance is wonderful news!
The Okanagan-Similkameen region is one of the most endangered ecosystems in Canada and is a perfect candidate for a national park reserve. This area is home to an amazing diversity of wildlife including badgers, bobolinks, canyon wrens, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, rattlesnakes, scorpions and the iconic Lyall’s Mariposa Lily. But development is gobbling up this fragile ecosystem, which means it is essential that all levels of government get back to the table and finish the park creation process.
Please stay tuned for more developments, and thanks again for your support!
Gwen Barlee | Policy Director
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The Wilderness Committee is Canada’s largest membership-based, citizen-funded wilderness preservation organization.
Today’s “stone” is Day 60 meltingly mild, bright yet the sun has not broken the haze