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WHAT IS STEWARDSHIP?

Stewardship is the voluntary conservation and care for fish and wildlife habitat by local landowners and community groups.

MISSION

Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship is a grassroots environmental non-profit that exists to promote voluntary conservation, stewardship and enhancement of important habitats on private lands and within the communities of the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys. We work on a landscape-based, multi-species approach throughout the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, helping landowners conserve and steward properties in a way that supports wildlife and land practices on their properties.

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WHAT WE DO
  • Provide assistance and support to landowners as stewards in conservation, restoration and enhancement of wildlife habitats on their properties while maintaining other land use practices such as agriculture and eco-tourism.

  • Provide information, assistance and advice about local species and spaces including tailored habitat assessments prepared by our local biologists.

  • Develop and lead habitat enhancement projects, such as native plant enhancement, exclusion fencing along shorelines, and invasive plant management.

  • Work cooperatively and collaboratively in the delivery of our projects and activities.

Purple loosetrife invasive plant management
Habitat Restoration and Stewardship on Agricultural property
MEET OUR TEAM

WHERE WE WORK
OSS works in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, primarily on the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx/Okanagan people, throughout the Regional Districts of Okanagan Similkameen, Central Okanagan and North Okanagan. This region is an exceptional place, known for its spectacular landscapes, iconic wildlife, amazing outdoor recreation opportunities, world-class wines and diverse agricultural products. The region is also home to some of the greatest concentrations of species diversity and species at risk in Canada and is one of Canada's most endangered natural systems.
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Road 22, Oct 26 2015, photo by Jack Benn

A CASE FOR STEWARDSHIP

The Okanagan-Similkameen is an exceptional place, known for its spectacular landscapes, iconic wildlife, amazing outdoor recreation opportunities, world-class wines and diverse agricultural products. The region is also home to some of the greatest concentrations of species diversity and species at risk in Canada and is one of Canada's most endangered natural systems.
Many of the wildlife and natural areas in the Okanagan and Similkameen are threatened because of the impacts of the very things which make this a desirable place to live and visit. Our towns, cities, agriculture and other human activities on land and water cause habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, the spread of non-native species, anthropogenic climate change, and pollution. All of which contribute to a decline of natural spaces and the plants and animals that depend on them.
 
Within the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, one-third of the land base is privately owned and managed. Empowering land managers to undertake conservation on their own lands and within communities is critical to maintaining healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of native species. 
 
Supporting local communities in stewardship action can help to change the ethic and increase  support for wildlife habitat conservation by the local population.