The mission of OSCA is to conduct educational and information initiatives promoting environmental awareness and participation among the general public; and to provide support services and promote cooperation within the environmental network in the Okanagan-Similkameen region. OSCA hopes to achieve these objectives through development of community activities and programs; and by assisting educators and government. Accomplishments of this group include the annual meadowlark festival, national wildlife week celebrations, and many community presentations and workshops. OSCA is the lead agency for the Outreach Team of the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program.

The Osoyoos Desert Society strives to protect and restore antelope-brush ecosystems in the South Okanagan, thereby ensuring species survival through habitat conservation. As an interpretive education centre and research facility, visitors gain valuable insight into this sensitive ecosystem and into conservation initiatives in general. Research conducted at the centre helps scientists to determine effective and practical methods for ecological restoration of this landscape. The society aims to generate public knowledge, respect and active concern for fragile and endangered habitats worldwide through its educational programming.

The Osoyoos Indian Band, (NK’MIP), was formed on November 21, 1877. As part of the Okanagan Nation, we are a strong, independent and proud people with a rich heritage. The Osoyoos Indian Band has always been progressive. From the early years of ranching, trading and small farms the people have continued to change with the times. Now, huge vineyards sprawl across these lands, businesses are being invited to call this home and the people have become business oriented. The Band manages businesses with annual budgets in excess of $l4 million dollars and administers its own health, social, educational and municipal services. The Osoyoos Indian Band Membership is approximately 400, with the majority of the Band Members living on the Osoyoos Indian Reservation. Improvements and modernization are everywhere. During recent years new home construction on the reserve has been swift with growth matching the rest of the South Okanagan each year.

Osoyoos Lake Water Quality Society is a non-profit charitable organization working to preserve the future quality of Osoyoos Lake. The Society’s intention is to reestablish and maintain the water quality throughout the Okanagan Valley lake system, especially in the Osoyoos Lake and environs, so that it is suitable for indigenous plant and animal life and for human use and consumption. The Society is involved in monitoring water quality, determining causes of lake and environmental pollution or degradation, disseminating the results of analysis to government agencies and to the public and educating the public about related issues. The OLWQS also organizes lake and waterway “cleanup” projects and assists government in implementing programs that enhance the quality of the environment in the Okanagan valley lake system.

The Pacific Salmon Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to salmon restoration for the benefit of all. Governed by a volunteer board of directors, PSF raises and administers funds to support community-based, volunteer-driven salmon restoration activities throughout BC. Through partnerships with governments, private sector, other agencies and individuals; PSF has contributed over $3 million towards 344 community projects. The activities of over 20,000 volunteers in salmon programs are bringing them back, stream by stream.

British Columbia’s Southern Interior, also known as Canada’s Great Basin, is home to some of the most endangered species and habitats in Canada! At least 15% of the regularly occurring landbird species in the region are at risk at the provincial or federal level. Even some common species are experiencing dramatic population declines. Habitat loss and degradation are the main threats to bird populations in the region. Partners in Flight (PIF) BC and Yukon, and the Canadian Intermountain Joint Venture (CIJV), are using a habitat- based conservation approach to maintain the health of bird populations and their habits. It is an exciting time for groups and individuals committed to the conservation of landbirds in BC and the Yukon. In addition to the recent international initiatives for landbirds, we are working hard to translate such resources into local action to improve the health of landbird populations and their habitats regionally.

The City of Penticton’s R.N.Atkinson Museum and Archives contains over 350 animal mounts and skins. These collections are valuable to artists, naturalists and scientists as a source of species information. The Archives is also a very useful resource, containing information in written form as well as thousands of photographs that relate to the early natural history of the South Okanagan and Similkameen. Records include diaries of early settlers and weather data from newspapers and the Department of Environment. The museum offers children’s summer programmes, school programmes for all ages and grades, adult lecture series, and access to the archives and collection by appointment. This organization supports other groups via education, and as a resource centre.

Regional Districts are most noted for providing general government administration, electoral area planning and solid waste management planning. The Regional District Okanagan Similkameen is also responsible for voluntary services including water and waste water utilities, regional parks, solid waste services, protective services and noise control. A recent important undertaking has been the development of a Regional Growth Strategy, a long-term planning project that deals with growth management issues over a 20-year period for the South Okanagan area. The RGS is a collaborative process that includes ongoing consultation with the public, First Nations, local, regional, provincial, and federal governments.

The Royal BC Museum was created in 1886 to secure and preserve specimens that illustrate the natural history of the province, collect anthropological material relating the aboriginal people of BC, and obtain information on the natural history of the province. The museum disseminates information and offers educational programs from its location in Victoria.

The South Okanagan Rehabilitation Centre for Owls is a non-profit society dedicated to treating injured and orphaned birds of prey with the purpose of releasing them back into the wild when ever possible. SORCO is not a zoo but a clinic and treatment center; therefore at this time no public viewing of the birds is allowed. SORCO treats all birds of prey from all over the province. We act on Conservation through Rehabilitation.