RDOS Area F Public Information Session: New Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Conservation Fund

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.




Public Input Sought for New Environmental DP Areas and Conservation Fund In Area C

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: www.rdos.bc.ca (Departments → Development Services → Planning → Projects → ESDP Area Update). Additional information on the regional Conservation Fund can be accessed at www.soscp.org.


Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation Hiring

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 www.hctf.ca 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: http://www.hctf.ca/who-we-are/careersHCTF NEW LOGOlarge . Note: only candidates selected for personal interviews will be contacted.


Update on Penticton Restoration Project

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.


Generous Donation to SOSCP

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.

SOSCP works with Transboundary Partners

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.

Penticton Creek Showcases Restoration Excellence

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.

SOSCP Celebrates 15 Years of Conservation

Join SOSCP partners and friends for the Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, May 13th, 1 p.m.
Penticton Ramada Inn, Atrium Meeting Room
1050 Eckhardt Avenue


The Nature Trust of BC sets sights on key antelope-brush properties

Vaseux Lake Antelope-brush Property. Graham Osbourne photo.

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is working to acquire 34.6 hectares to create the largest private holding of rare Antelope-brush habitat in the South Okanagan (152 hectares). Fifteen years in the making, this fourth and final phase of the Antelope-brush Conservation Area project is underway. Located at the south end of Vaseux Lake, this acquisition along with The Nature Trust’s adjoining property is home to more than 20 species at risk. Most notably, this land supports more than half of the Canadian population of the Behr’s Hairstreak butterfly.  TNT is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that have helped with this project to date and are asking for support to raise $280,000 by March 31, 2015. Your support will help conserve a critical piece of British Columbia’s South Okanagan.

Find out more about the family history and important habitats associated with this important area. Antelope-brush TNT BC project. Or go directly to The Nature Trust of BC site to donate.

Okanagan wetlands benefit from new funds

Kelowna, November 7, 2014.

The Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) and Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) held a joint news conference welcoming new funding from Environment Canada towards Phase 2 of the Okanagan Wetlands Strategy project and some significant additional work by the ONA.

While Phase 1 involved public outreach, data collection, prioritization, and mapping of Okanagan wetlands, Phase 2 includes two years of wetland restoration and rehabilitation. The goal is to complete six projects, three by March 2015, and another three by March 2016. In support of this effort, a total of $50,000 was granted to the OBWB for project management over two years, and another $50,000 was provided to ONA for hands-on wetland projects. These hands-on projects include important work by ONA to support the Western Painted Turtle on the Penticton Indian Reserve near Penticton airport.

“Okanagan wetlands provide enormous benefits to people by protecting against floods, improving water quality and water supply, controlling erosion and supporting a host of recreational activities,” noted Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan in announcing funding. “ “Together, we will continue to find new ways to work together to protect our lands, waters, and wildlife,” added Cannan.

“The Okanagan People have a strong relationship with the water,” said Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger, speaking for the Okanagan Nation. “Protecting and enhancing wetlands is vital to maintaining that relationship. This project is part of the larger water strategy for the Nation and it is through partnerships like this, and collaboration that we will continue to move forward to ensure there is water for tomorrow.”

“Wetlands, once considered a nuisance and a waste of valuable land, are an important part of our community,” stressed OBWB Chair Doug Findlater, noting the importance of the wetland strategy. Today, more than 85% of the Okanagan’s wetlands & natural riparian areas are gone, and remaining areas are at risk of loss, making the need for work in these areas all the more important, he added.

“Thanks to funding from Environment Canada, we are pleased to announce the hiring of Jillian Tamblyn as the OBWB’s Okanagan Wetlands Strategy Project Manager. Over the next two years, Jillian will be working with the ONA, plus many more partners to see these projects through, helping create communities that are more resilient to flooding, and pleasant to live in.”

Phase 2 recently kicked off with a fencing project at McLachlan Lake for a wetland in need of protection from cattleand off-road vehicles.

Partners in Phase 2 include the Regional District of Central Okanagan, BC Wildlife Federation, South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program, Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program, Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society , and B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. This partnership will grow as more groups join in hands-on work/

Phase 3 will involve the development of a comprehensive Okanagan Wetland Strategy document for future work, informed by the previous phases.