The Nature Trust of BC has reason to celebrate. First, the conservation organization turns 45 this year. They have been successfully protecting land in BC for a long time, including focusing significant efforts here in the South Okanagan. Second, for 17 years they have been working toward securing an extremely important habitat type in one of the most critical areas of the South Okanagan, at the pinch point of McIntyre Bluff.
TNT BC just completed the purchase of an 85-acre piece of rare Antelope-brush habitat located at the south end of Vaseux Lake that has been owned by the Kennedy family since 1886. Over the past 17 years, The Nature Trust has been securing adjoining sections and now together with this last portion, they have the largest private holding of rare Antelope-brush habitat in the South Okanagan totalling 152 hectares (375 acres). The property is home to more than 20 species at risk including Behr’s Hairstreak butterfly, Bighorn Sheep, Pallid Bat, Desert Night Snake, Great Basin Spadefoot Toad and Lewis’s Woodpecker.
“This is a wonderful final piece of a puzzle that we’ve been working on for a long time,” says Nicholas Burdock, Okanagan Conservation Land Coordinator. “It’s always best to add land to an adjacent property rather than have an island off on its own. Stewardship of this property dates back 129 years to Pete McIntyre who homesteaded in the area and it’s been kept in its natural state since that time. It’s a fantastic legacy that the Kennedy family was able to be a part of and we thank them for that.”