WHAT WE DO
Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship works directly with locals in order to support and assist them in caring for important natural areas by:
Providing information and assistance about local species and spaces, and best management practices for coexisting with wildlife.
Helping landowners become stewards of natural areas on their properties while maintaining their farms, ranches, vineyards or other land uses.
Helping develop projects, such as native plant enhancement, shoreline fencing, and invasive plant management
Helping landowners manage natural areas
Working cooperatively and collaboratively in the delivery of our projects and activities.
Providing land owners with technical assistance and support in habitat conservation and wildlife.
Engaging local communities and land managers in conservation, restoration and enhancement of key habitats for wildlife in their communities.
A CASE FOR STEWARDSHIP
The Okanagan 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. Private species and habitats are most common. 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.