RDOS Seeks Technical Advisory Committee for South Okanagan Conservation Fund

 

The Regional District of Okanagan- Similkameen (RDOS) is seeking qualified individuals to volunteer as a member for the newly established South Okanagan Conservation Fund Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

The South Okanagan Conservation Fund is in support of undertaking and administering activities, projects and works that include, but are not limited to, water, environment, wildlife, land and habitat conservation efforts to protect natural areas within participating areas of the South Okanagan which includes Electoral Areas A, C, D, E and F of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, along with the District of Summerland, Town of Oliver and City of Penticton.

Committee members will be appointed by the RDOS Board of Directors, based on qualifications, expertise and experience.  The TAC’s role is to provide sound, expert, technical review of annual project proposals and provide recommendation to the RDOS.  The TAC is not a decision making body.

Candidates for membership must possess expertise in the following areas:

  • Management, restoration and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat, including sensitive terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems;
  • Native fish and wildlife conservation including species at risk;
  • Land and natural resource management, environmental studies, environmental science, hydrology, hydrobiology, ecology, or conservation biology.

Prospective committee members will have the following qualifications:

  • Practical knowledge of and experience in the specific technical areas;
  • Understanding of conservation practices and approaches including stewardship, outreach, traditional ecological knowledge, acquisitions and securement;
  • Practical knowledge of the non-profit and society sector;
  • Strong ethical standards and personal integrity;
  • Ability and willingness to address issues in a non-partisan manner, while considering the opinion of others and working as a team member;
  • Comforts with open dialogue and agreement through consensus;
  • Willingness to sign, and adhere to the Conflict of Interest Guidelines and Confidentiality agreement;
  • Willingness and ability to attend and participate actively in Committee meetings and/or field tours.

Term

Technical Advisory Committee members may serve a maximum of three years, with some members serving one or two year terms initially to ensure membership continuity.

If you are interested in serving on this committee, please submit your resume by July 7, 2017 at 4:30pm to:

  • Christy Malden, Manager of Legislative Services
    101 Martin Street
    Penticton, BC V2A 5J9Email: cmalden@rdos.bc.ca
    Direct line: 250.490.4146

More information on the South Okanagan Conservation Fund Terms of Reference, including the TAC Terms of Reference and the Conflict of Interest Guidelines, can be found here.  Visit South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Program website for further information.

RDOS Receives Award from Peers for Establishing Conservation Fund

The South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program (SOSCP) is pleased to announce the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) Board has received an award to acknowledge and celebrate local governments for their efforts in protecting biodiversity. The RDOS Board is being recognized with this award for their work in protecting rare species and ecosystems by establishing the South Okanagan Conservation Fund.

A working group of local governments from across BC has been coming together with the BC Ministry of Environment under the banner “Species and Ecosystems at Risk-Local Government Working Group (SEAR-LGWG)” to enhance the protection of species and habitats at risk. This is the inaugural year of this award sponsored by the working group to acknowledge the efforts of local governments in protecting biodiversity. For their role in fulfilling that mandate, SOSCP Program Manager Bryn White did not hesitate to nominate the RDOS.

SOSCP presented the award on behalf of the SEAR-LGWG to the RDOS Board at their February 16th Board meeting.

“We are thrilled the RDOS Board has deservedly won the very first SEAR-LGWG Award,” says White. “The RDOS Board and staff has shown great leadership with the establishment of the South Okanagan Conservation Fund. This innovative Fund will protect species and ecosystems for generations to come. It also will work regionally across electoral area and municipal borders, engaging all citizens of the South Okanagan to come together to protect the wonderful region in which we live, work and raise our families. Their vision will leave a significant legacy for nature and a positive future for our communities.”

From right to left: RDOS Board Chair Karla Kozakevich, SOSCP Program Manager Bryn White, and SOSCP Chair and Nature Trust of BC Okanagan Land Coordinator Nick Burdock.

South Okanagan Conservation Fund One of the Biggest Accomplishments of Year Says RDOS Chair

RDOS Board Chair and Director Karla Kozakevich

Looking back over 2016, RDOS Board Chair Karla Kozakevich said a decision near the end of the year was one of the biggest accomplishments for the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen.

Kozakevich, is the Area Director for Electoral Area E (Naramata) and said in an interview with Penticton Western News in early January, that “the creation of a regional conservation fund in December was a major accomplishment for the RDOS Board. This fund will allow for the preservation of land and species at risk through opportunities of land purchases and/or environmental conservation projects through joint partnerships.”

The Environmental Conservation Service Bylaw was adopted by the RDOS  Board in December of 2016.

Kozakevich highlighted that the new conservation fund is an excellent start to more regional projects in 2017.

 

Conservation Fund for the South Okanagan Receives Public Assent

The Alternate Approval Process to establish the environmental conservation bylaw completed last Monday at 4:30 pm with less than .1% of eligible electors in opposition. 

“I am very happy to announce the public approval of the bylaw that will create a Conservation Fund in the South Okanagan,” said Bryn White, SOSCP Program Manager.

“Thank you to the South Okanagan local/regional government elected Directors, Mayors, Councillors and staff for their vision and to our partners, funders and friends for your support of the proposal. This is an amazing new era for conservation in the South Okanagan. SOSCP will continue to work with our local government partners to make this the best, most effective fund that secures the sustainable future of our communities.”

The fund has the potential to raise up to $450,000 every year for environmental conservation in the South Okanagan. There are 50 government and non-government organizations working together since the year 2000 on biodiversity conservation in this region under the SOSCP coordinating umbrella.

Building a Resilient Okanagan Community Research Forum, Dec 5th, Kelowna Yacht Club

The Okanagan Research Forum: Building a Resilient Okanagan Landscape,  will be hosted by the UBC Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services (BRAES) and the UBC Institute for Community Engaged Research (ICER), in collaboration with partner organizations. The Forum will encourage knowledge sharing and dialogue between UBC Okanagan Researchers and the broader community, including government and local organizations.  Every two years, a Forum will be organized with a specified theme. This year’s theme is resilience, a particularly relevant topic for the Okanagan region considering the pressures we face due to climate change, population growth, and changes in land use.

 

For more information and to register go to: www.okresearchforum.geolive.ca

 

OSCA AGM Dec 3rd at 2 pm – Shatford Centre Penticton

Join the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance (OSCA) for their AGM, Saturday December 3rd at the Shatford Centre in Penticton at 2 pm. Come learn more about what OSCA has done this past year and what is in store for 2017! Meadowlark Festival, EcoStudies school programs, bird banding at Vaseux Lake and more.

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Conservation Fund Given Third Reading at RDOS Board

On July 7th 2016, the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Board gave third reading to the service bylaw to establish a Conservation Fund for the South Okanagan region. This is a significant step in the establishment of the fund. The bylaw is now at the Inspector of Municipalities for approval, then it will come back to the RDOS Board for adoption, and out for public assent later this fall. The RDOS has chosen to undertake an Alternate Approval Process for public assent which is a cost effective alternative to a stand-alone referendum.  

If fully adopted, the South Okanagan Conservation Fund will requisition $10 on average, per household, per year, in the City of Penticton, District of Summerland, Town of Oliver, and the Electoral Areas of A, C, D, E and F. Potentially $450,000 could be raised each year to support conservation efforts in the South Okanagan, and conservation organizations can apply each year for funding to support local conservation work. SOSCP Program Manager Bryn White is overjoyed by the decision to take the bylaw to third reading. “The ability for these monies to leverage resources and funds from outside the region is significant. The benefits locally will be immediate,” White says referencing the positive social, environmental and economic impacts seen in the east and west Kootenays after funds there were established in 2008 and 2014.

Read more about the proposed Conservation Fund at http://www.soscp.org/funding-conservation/.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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City of Penticton joins Regional Conservation Fund

At the City of Penticton Council meeting Monday June 20th, Penticton Council vote unanimously to join in to participate in a Regional Conservation Fund for the South Okanagan that will raise and allocate dedicated funding for conservation projects. “Environmental and conservation issues know no political boundaries” was one of the compelling reasons Council re-considered their decision to go forward with a stand-alone fund for Penticton and join a regional initiative that would have rural electoral areas and municipalities cooperating towards clean air, water, wildlife and open spaces. The benefits of such a fund will be felt throughout the region and across generations. The regional service bylaw comes back for reading to the RDOS Board on July 7th, 2016. The Board intends to garner public assent through the Alternate Approval Process which is the most cost effective option as opposed to a referendum outside of a regular local government election cycle. SOSCP is sharing information and success stories from the Kootenay Conservation Program’s success in this realm. The KCP established the first conservation fund of its kind in Canada first in the Columbia Valley in 2008, then in the Kootenay Lake area in 2014. Over the past 7 years more than 1.5 million has been granted to local organizations in support of 70+ conservation projects. The South Okanagan Regional Conservation Fund is poised to raise $450,000 per year every year for the next five years.

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Comment Now on Proposed Motorized Rec Site at Oliver Mountain

The referral period for the proposed motorized recreation site at Oliver Mountain has just been initiated.  All comments on the proposal should be directed to Ian.McLellan@gov.bc.ca prior to July 7, 2016. Here is the FTP link with the RSTBC referral package Click here

 

 

 

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RDOS Director Makes Motion to Establish Conservation Fund

At the April 28th RDOS Planning and Development Committee meeting, Area F Director Michael Brydon made a motion to establish a Conservation Fund that would be a sub-regional service in the South Okanagan. The proposed fund would requisition $10 per household per year on average for a period of five years to support conservation projects. The fund is proposed to be guided by a Technical Committee,  and be application-based so organizations could apply to undertake the work. Local government directors would make final decisions on fund allocations.

The motion followed a presentation by SOSCP Program Manager Bryn White, with special guest David Hillary former Program Manager of the Kootenay Conservation Program. Hillary’s presentation highlighted the process of establishing the first Conservation Fund in Canada both in the east and central Kootenays, including the environmental, community and financial benefits such a fund has brought to the region.

The motion for a sub-regional service in the South Okanagan is an invitation to all five electoral areas and four member municipalities, and Brydon’s comments were encouraging an opportunity for the Board to think and act regionally, thereby increasing their total impact by working together.

The motion was brought forward yesterday May 19th at the RDOS Board meeting for agreement, but was removed for consent and deferred to the second Board meeting in June. This provides an opportunity for individual councils to discuss their participation in the proposed sub-regional service, or perhaps an opportunity to establish stand-alone funds of their own.

Let us know what you think – read more and make a comment here http://www.soscp.org/funding-conservation/