Come join three South Okanagan experts and learn how waterfront property owners can use landscaping to protect their shorelines and help improve local water quality and habitats. Before Europeans settled in the Okanagan and built cities on the landscape, there were ponderosa pine forests, native sage-dotted grasslands, wetlands and riparian areas. The valley bottom was undisturbed, capturing runoff so that wetlands and river oxbows could act as filters in rain events and during snow melt before this water entered our lakes and streams. Shoreline protection and an understanding of how it affects waterways is critical. A healthy, well vegetated shoreline helps protect water quality, important habitat for wildlife species such as spawning fish, aquatic insects, turtles and nesting water birds.

Don Gayton will talk about riparian function and healthy ecosystems, Alison Peatt will illuminate and engage us in the topic of riparian regulations and their importance and Eva Antonijevic will illustrate which hardy plants are suitable for our shoreline areas.
When: Sunday April 17 1:30pm – 3pm
Where: Summerland Waterfront properties
Who: Free event. Everyone is invited!

For more information or to register contact: Eva at

After a century of wetland draining, ditching and destruction, community groups across BC are getting involved in wetland restoration. After losing 85 percent of our Okanagan wetlands, we are recognizing the importance of wetlands to biodiversity and ecosystem services, by recreating or enhancing them. One such highly successful project took place on the grounds of the KLO Middle School in Kelowna, where students, teachers, parents and the business community collaborated to “daylight” a portion of Fascieux Creek, which previously ran through a culvert adjacent to the playing fields. The Creek is now a lovely, naturalized outdoor classroom. Shimshon Obadia, a postgraduate student at UBC-Okanagan, has followed the KLO Middle School project, and will present a video on it at the Old Summerland Library, Wednesday, April 19, beginning at 7pm. The public is invited. Following Shimshon’s presentation, local ecologist Don Gayton will present a potential wetland daylighting project for Summerland. The evening event is co-sponsored by the Okanagan Basin Water Board and the UBC-O Eco-Art Incubator program. For more information call 250 494 1858.

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has been working with the SOSCP to review and update Official Community Plan bylaws that reduce the impact to the environment during the process of land development. This includes updated mapping and improved policies and guidelines for Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit Areas. RDOS and SOSCP have recently wrapped up public information sessions throughout the South Okanagan, however the public can make comment until January 31, 2016. “An expression of public support for these new provisions is really important”, says Bryn White, SOSCP Program Manager. “There are vast improvements to provisions for the environment and it is important that public have an opportunity to support them.” What is this all about? Click Here for a snapshot to help you get a leg up on the proposed changes and formulate your feedback.

Residents can provide input by email to:

The RegiRDOS LOGO smallonal District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) will be holding a Public Information Meeting for residents and property owners in Electoral Area “F” regarding an introduction to Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit (ESDP) Areas as well as garner public feedback for a proposed Regional Conservation Fund to be used to support ecological conservation activities:

Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Time: 6:00-8:00 pm (Advisory Planning Council meeting to follow at 8:00 pm)

Location: West Bench Elementary School, 1604 West Bench Drive, Penticton BC

Come and learn more about the environmental strategies being proposed by RDOS, or click here for more information.

More information about the proposed Conservation Fund can be found here – including a place to provide comments.



The RegiRDOS LOGO smallonal District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) will be holding a Public Information Meeting in order to provide an overview to residents and property owners in Electoral Area “C” regarding proposed changes to Environmentally Sensitive Development Permit (ESDP) Areas as well as garner public feedback for a proposed Regional Conservation Fund to be used to support ecological conservation activities:
Date: November 17, 2015
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: 6359 Park Drive, Oliver (Community Centre)

For residents and property owners unable to attend the Public Information Meeting, additional information (including feedback forms) regarding the ESDP Area Update are available for download on the Regional District’s web-site at: (Departments → Development Services → Planning → Projects → ESDP Area Update). Additional information on the regional Conservation Fund can be accessed at

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is a non-profit charitable foundation which invests in projects that maintain and enhance the health and biological diversity of British Columbia’s fish, wildlife, and habitats. We are a proposal-driven organization and use a rigorous review process based on the best-available science to evaluate proposals from individuals and organizations undertaking projects which benefit conservation in the province. Visit our website at to learn more about us. We are looking for a biologist who has significant progressive experience and a demonstrated success in leading and delivering field-based biological work. A broad knowledge of BC’s fish and wildlife species and their habitats, ecosystems, habitat enhancement techniques, stewardship initiatives and legislation/government policies is essential. This position requires familiarity with evaluating conservation proposals and monitoring approved projects and programs to assure ongoing technical soundness and achievement of objectives.

For more information on this career opportunity please visit: NEW LOGOlarge . Note: only candidates selected for personal interviews will be contacted.

Penticton Creek RestorationThe Penticton Creek Restoration Project is moving ahead as planned, with final placement of river rock, removal of silt and water to be released from the bypass tunnel to the main creek bed later this week. The City of Penticton hosted a hard hat tour for media and elected officials last week, with the full extent of the restoration project visible from Ellis Street bridge and the walkway. Three riffles and pools will replace a homogenous concrete flume for an 80 meter stretch of creek, with boulders and small round river rock to provide improved habitat for fish on this once very productive system. Although this was an extremely complex process to undertake, the City of Penticton and conservation partners moved forward with the support of funders; Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Federal Recreational Fishery Conservation Partners Program, and TD Friends of the Environment.

Lake Breeze donation 2015 final


SOSCP was presented with a significant gift from Lake Breeze Wine Farm in Naramata. Lake Breeze has committed all of its patio sparkling water sales to the conservation partnership and presented Bryn White, SOSCP Program Manager with the donation at the annual Lake Breeze year-end staff party. “I was absolutely thrilled to accept this generous contribution on behalf of SOSCP,” said White. During the presentation, Lake Breeze owners Drew and Barb McIntyre thanked Bryn for the SOSCP’s conservation efforts and highlighted the important connections between what Lake Breeze does and the need for a healthy landscape in which to do it.

Okanagan Map Andrew Shirk croppedAs one of the biodiversity strategy’s strategic directions, SOSCP has been supporting connectivity planning initiatives with partners in Canada and the USA. In April, SOSCP shared environmental planner Alison Peatt, attended the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) workshop in Bozeman, Montana. The partnership is a network of U.S. federal, Canadian provincial and federal, Tribal Nations, state, academic, and conservation organizations. Working to achieve a collective landscape vision, they are planning robust ecosystem connectivity between Canada and the US covering nearly 300 million acres extending from the interior of B.C. to southwest Wyoming.

Closer to home, Peatt attended a Transboundary Climate-Connectivity Project workshop at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center in June. The focus was transboundary connectivity planning in the context of climate change. Participants included climate scientists, provincial government staff, First Nations representatives, and NGOs. Working with a science team that focuses on the Washington-BC border, SOSCP has been supporting the review of species models and transboundary connectivity to facilitate long term species movement.

SOSCP is also collaborating with Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program, Okanagan Nation Alliance, Conservation Northwest and others to initiate pilot habitat connectivity projects in the Okanagan, aimed at enhancing opportunities for retaining connectivity, focusing on site specific locations in the north-central and south Okanagan-Similkameen regions.

PentHCTF NEW LOGOlargeicton Creek is the third-largest tributary, and was historically, an extremely productive waterway for Okanagan Lake Kokanee and Rainbow Trout. Flood protection measures in the 1950s created a smooth concrete-lined channel, damaging fish and riparian habitat. The City of Penticton has been working alongside the Okanagan Nation Alliance, senior governments and non-government organizations, including SOSCP, to develop and implement a long-term restoration plan for Penticton Creek. With funding support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF), the City has developed a plan to rehabilitate a section of Penticton Creek starting this July as a restoration showcase.

The section of the creek was chosen to address severe maintenance problems and show the community the transformation in a visible area while improving fish habitat. Bryn White, SOSCP Manager and Chair of the Penticton Creek Restoration Committee says that despite the challenges with balancing the needs for restoring fish habitat with ongoing flood protection measures on an urban creek, the project has advanced in excellent time due to an incredibly supportive environment with decision makers and funders. “We owe this early success to the support and vision of Penticton City Council, residents along the showcase section as well as funders such as HCTF, TD Friends of the Environment and the Recreational Fishery Conservation Partnership Program. Projects like this can take up to ten years before ground is broken for restoration. City staff, the Penticton Creek Restoration Committee and expert consultants have been working hard over the last two years to get the science, safety and habitat requirements in place. This truly is going to be a showcase that Penticton can be proud of.”

Penticton Creek

Penticton Creek

Penticton Creek Restoration Committee:
Okanagan Nation Alliance
Penticton Fly Fishers
Freshwater Fisheries Society
Penticton Downtown Business Association
Penticton Indian Band
Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations
Public member at large
City staff and City Councillor.

Learn more about the project here.