Securing key properties for conservation, building spawning beds and creating passage for salmon to complete their 1000 km life cycles, reconnecting the Okanagan River floodplain, helping farmers to co-exist with wildlife, residents caring for nature in their neighbourhoods and more! Read all about the groundbreaking first round of projects funded by the South Okanagan Conservation Fund. Over $400,000 was allocated to seven projects to ensure sustainability and quality of life in our communities.
SOSCP Program Manager Bryn White is pleased to announce the completion of a Second Edition of the essential “how-to” guide for local governments and community groups interested in establishing dedicated funds for local community sustainability and environmental conservation projects. “This guide contains critical information for anyone looking for capacity to ensure a sustainable future for their community. A healthy economy, clean air and water, tourism, agriculture, robust property values and attractive, investable communities – all rely on a healthy environment.” says White. Local Conservation Funds in British Columbia provides current case studies and successful examples of campaigns and experiences from around the province, including additional resources to support local governments and community organizations. “Conservation funds are game-changers for communities, and this document is vital to achieving success. We are grateful to our funders and supporters for the ability to share this knowledge and experience with others.” The guide and additional support resources are available on the SOSCP website here.
In August 2017, the RDOS Board approved membership for the volunteer Technical Advisory Committee to ensure that proposals to the South Okanagan Conservation Fund receive an expert technical review based on fair assessment of merit and project effectiveness, providing a high level of accountability and recommendation of technically appropriate proposals to the RDOS Board of Directors.
In response to advertisements in local newspapers and via social media, 13 candidates submitted resumes for the 7 positions. Selecting volunteers for this committee proved to be an extremely challenging and competitive process; a decision made very difficult by the many impressive applications received. The Committee was finalized with seven candidates representing a balance of academic, technical and practical experience, including over 170 years of combined experience, 13 post secondary degrees/diplomas and 5 are members of professional associations. The newly appointed Committee met in November to review applications and will be providing recommendations to the RDOS Board in early December. A brief biography of the Committee members can be found here.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Direct line: 250.490.4146
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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/.