The Nature Trust of British Columbia

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is the oldest and largest provincial land trust in BC. Since 1971, The Nature Trust along with partners has invested more than $95 million to secure over 70,000 hectares (175,000 acres) of land. Partnership is key to the Nature Trust’s success. We work with individual donors foundations, stewardship groups, corporations, and all levels of government to accomplish our goals.

The Nature Trust of BC will secure a large, ecologically important property that is a significant inholding to its White Lake Biodiversity Ranch lands complex. Park Rill Creek runs through the close to 80 acre property, important habitat for species at risk, including for the endangered Half-moon Hairstreak butterfly and other rare species such as Brewer’s Sparrow, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Painted Turtle and Blotched Tiger Salamander. The property also provides habitat connectivity for wide ranging wildlife species, through the sagebrush, grasslands, wetlands and woodlands, as it is surrounded by the extensive Nature Trust of BC holdings that make up the White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch.

“The White Lake Basin is one of the gems in The Nature Trust of BC’s conservation land portfolio,” said Nick Burdock, Okanagan Conservation Land Coordinator. “The Park Rill Creek property is one of the finest examples of mixed riparian habitat along the Park Rill corridor. You really get the sense that this piece of land has been cared for in a way that protected its conservation values.”

The White Lake Biodiversity Ranch encompasses over 37,000 hectares of land under varying tenures, including private (fee simple) land, leased land, and crown grazing license. The Nature Trust of B.C., with support from a number of conservation partners, acquired the Biodiversity Ranch complex of land components over many years starting in 1993. A large portion of the lands are leased or licensed for management of livestock, with a partnership and stewardship focus on operations that consider and address biodiversity values.

The benefits of this project will extend to the entire region, as the majority of Nature Trust properties are open to the public to enjoy. Increased protection of Park Rill Creek and surrounding habitat will improve water quality and biodiversity. The Park Rill property has been a high priority for acquisition for many years. The Nature Trust of BC is still fundraising to support the land management costs. If you would like to support this acquisition, please donate or call toll free 1.866.288.7878.

The project was approved by the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen Board and $200,000 was allocated from the South Okanagan Conservation Fund in 2018. The South Okanagan Conservation Fund dollars match funding from many other sources including from other levels of government, as well as private donors, grants and foundations. The project is expected to complete by February 1, 2019.