Please join the OONC for an outing on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 at sw̓iw̓s Provincial Park (Haynes Point).
We’ll meet at 10 AM at the entrance to sw̓iw̓s (Haynes Point). First on the agenda will be some some birding around the wetlands area.
Then we’ll make a brief stop at or near the picnic tables (north side, downhill of the outdoor restrooms) for an early lunch snack. Then we will drive over to Solana Key to view the joint project of OONC and the Town of Osoyoos.
Note: Dress for the weather that day. Wear footwear, bring a light lunch and water. Guests are welcome.
Directions: Turn left off Hwy 97 onto 32nd Ave. then straight down hill to the Park.
Your hike leaders will be Carol Boan (250) 495-6107 and Marg Zillich .
We look forward to seeing you.
Board of Directors, Oliver Osoyoos Naturalists Club
Bourguiba Spring Purchased for Conservation Wildlife on the hot, dry, sunny lower slopes of Anarchist Mountain in the South Okanagan will now have year-round access to drinking water, in perpetuity. The Southern Interior Land Trust has succeeded in purchasing the 16.6-hectare (41- acre) Bourguiba Spring property on Highway 3, three kilometres southeast of Osoyoos. Achieving this goal in just a few months is due to the support of a variety of donors, including the South Okanagan Conservation Fund, the Wild Sheep Society of BC, the BC Conservation Foundation, the Okanagan-Similkameen Parks Society, the BC Parks Foundation, the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund, and dozens of non-profits, companies and individuals who donated what they could. Please go to https://siltrust.ca/bourguiba- spring-property-acquired/ for a list of donors.
Lot 16, the Bourguiba Spring property, is a steep, south-facing grassland with rock outcroppings above a ravine that protects a groundwater spring—the source of Bourguiba Creek, which flows into Haynes Creek, a tributary of Osoyoos Lake. Its steep slopes of sagebrush, bunchgrass, and scattered pines are home to California bighorn sheep, provide spring range for mule deer, and habitat for many species-at-risk, such as badger (endangered), rattlesnake (threatened), screech owl (threatened), and half-moon hairstreak butterfly (endangered).
Conservation of this habitat provides protection of valuable undeveloped land for wildlife, as well as offering opportunities for the public to enjoy birding, hiking and other outdoor activities in a natural setting with panoramic views.
SILT President Judie Steeves commented, “This is a beautiful piece of natural Okanagan landscape, where the aroma of sage and pinesap remind me of my childhood growing up in this valley. I’ve been sad to see so many of these natural features paved and built over in my lifetime and it’s very rewarding for me personally to participate in conserving a site where delicate mariposa lilies bend in the breeze, and I can hear the meadowlark’s melody.” She thanked everyone who pulled together to help SILT purchase the property in such a short timeframe.
“The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are two sides of the same coin, and we must tackle them together. By working with partners such as The Southern Interior Land Trust and generous donors, we are helping to protect the natural environment in British Columbia and across the country. Protecting lands plays a vital role in helping to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and contributes to the recovery of species at risk. Through programs like the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Government of Canada is making progress toward its goal of conserving a quarter of lands and oceans in Canada by 2025, working toward 30 percent of each by 2030.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change “The Wild Sheep Society of BC is incredibly grateful to support this important land purchase which will help sustain wild sheep on the Okanagan landscape. We are thankful SILT has offered us this opportunity to be part of another land acquisition and support BC’s wild sheep.”
– Kyle Stelter, Chief Executive Officer, Wild Sheep Society of BC “The Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society takes great pride in contributing to SILT’s acquisition of Lot 16 near Osoyoos. We feel that the lot, with its spring and diverse plant and animal life, provides much needed large animal connectivity and protection for larger wildlife in the area. We hope that, as a model of cooperation, Lot 16 is only an initial project of this sort in the southern interior.
– Ian Graham, President, OSPS Lot 16 is just one of many properties SILT owns, or which SILT has helped acquire for other conservation organizations in the Southern Interior of B.C. With the support of the public and their donations, SILT can continue to be responsive and available to conserve other important habitats as they come available. Go to SILT’s website for more information or to donate: siltrust.ca/donate.
About: SILT is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to conserving land for wildlife and other living things. In particular, SILT has worked for more than 30 years with a focus on creating a legacy of important gems of habitat as stepping-stones that allow wildlife to move through landscapes impacted by human development or activities.
– For media enquiries: SILT Executive Director Al Peatt: 250-328-4699 The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community.
It was a sunny and warm morning for our hike to White Lake and much appreciated by our ‘Group of Seven’, including myself, Phil, Anyaa, Cheryl, Hal, Lefa and Vern. We met Jean and Barry at White Lake.
It was a bit late for plants and birds but two ravens were flying as we started. The first two ponds were dry but the third had water and ducks, mostly bufflehead, some mallards. While there, a young couple with two dogs were on their way out.
At the boundary fence we found a large lake which I had not seen in several previous trips. More bufflehead and mallards were enjoying the water. With no inlet or outlet this was surprising. Perhaps this resulted from the high snowpack the last two years.
While having lunch at this 4th lake, no less than three separate groups passed us having come up our exit trail. I had not seen anyone in this area before so it has become a fairly popular trail. A flock of cranes flew high overhead but too high for my eyes to see.
We proceeded down the steep loose trail until near the bottom. My feet got a bit ahead of me, the loose surface prevented me from stopping. A saskatoon bush should have stopped me but it was too weak and it broke causing me to fall into it. I got up with some significant bruising and minor scratches.
Phil kept a good grip on me helping me down the short remaining distance to the main trail. The others being more cautious descended without incident.
The other groups we met seem to have chosen the better direction. Wisdom should come with age but I have been waiting 20 years for this to happen! I am forced to accept that I am now OLD so will try to act more appropriately in the future.
As an aside, my ribs are still painful but ibuprofen is allowing me to function. All the trip participants claimed to have an enjoyable outing (in spite of their feckless leader).