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Ponderosa Pine Forests

An often-overlooked gem

Up above the valley-bottom shrublands, the mountains of the Okanagan and Similkameen are covered in open Ponderosa Pine forests. This forest habitat is critical in supporting hundreds of different species of plants, animals, and insects. In addition to their beauty, these forests provide us with food, renewable timber, and places for recreation. It is important we treat our forests with respect to ensure these benefits can continue for years to come.

Nothern Pygmy Owl
Healthy Ponderosa Pine Forest
Mature Ponderosa Pine



Large trees like Ponderosa pines have extensive root systems which can prevent soil erosion and stabilize slopes


Forests suck up tonnes of CO2 and pollutants from the air each year and give us oxygen in return.


Ponderosa Pine tree bark contains vanillin, the compound found in vanilla flavouring. Smell the bark of a big Ponderosa on a hot day and you'll see!

More than 50 local wildlife species depend on Ponderosa Pine forests.

Lewis's woodpecker

You can help!

  • Be sure to practice responsible recreation when enjoying the outdoors. Never leave a campfire unattended and avoid creating new tent sites, which destroys understory vegetation. Be sure to pack out every piece of garbage and always stay on trails when hiking, biking, and ATVing.


  • Try and help control the spread of invasive species. Check your boots, your pets, your clothes, and your gear before and after you go, removing any seeds or bits of vegetation and throwing them in the garbage. Invasive plants aggressively push native species out of the way and disrupt the natural balance between them, which affects the local wildlife that use the area.


  • If it's safe to do so, always keep dead standing trees. They can remain standing for up to 40 years and are critical in providing food and shelter for dozens and dozens of local wildlife species.


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