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AGRICULTURE & STEWARDSHIP:
WILDLIFE FRIENDLY WINE
It's no secret that the wine industry in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys have grown incredibly fast - expanding from about 15 wineries 25 years ago to over 200 at present day. Many of these vineyards and wineries are also known for their commitment to sustainable practices and reducing their environmental impact. Some of these practices include water conservation (drip irrigation) and healthy soil management. These two changes can greatly reduce water waste. Additionally, some vineyard managers use drought tolerant cover crops between rows to retain soil moisture, improve soil health, increase organic matter, and reduce erosion. Not only do many of these practices benefit the vineyard, but they also benefit wildlife habitat through reduced soil erosion/runoff into bordering creeks, for example.
Some wineries and grape growers go one step further, voluntarily participating in our Wildlife Habitat Steward initiative. This means they are dedicated to caring for the wildlife habitats in and around their vineyards and, in return, get support and recognition from OSS.
Each winery does different things to care for their habitat: sometimes there are big planting projects, like the large-scale habitat restoration projects at Mt Boucherie Winery and Okanagan Crush Pad Winery . In other places such as LEED Certified Tantalus Winery, lots of bird boxes and raptor roosting poles helps reduce the need for pesticide use in the vineyards as resident songbirds and hawks eat huge numbers of insects and rodents each year. Sometimes, however, the best course of action for helping wildlife habitat is by leaving it natural, like they have at Forbidden Fruit Winery and at Synchromesh Winery! Both wineries keep large areas of habitat intact and undeveloped because those areas are critically important for endangered birds and other threatened wildlife like Bighorn Sheep.
Join us in celebrating Earth Month and BC Wine Month by picking up a bottle of wine from one of these environmentally and wildlife friendly wineries:
JOIN THESE WINERIES & GRAPE GROWERS
If you are interested in learning more about the wildlife and habitats on your property, contact us to arrange a free site visit. We have partnerships with over 100 landowners in the Okanagan and Similkameen, and can assist with a variety of projects from tailored information or assessments, development of land management plans, restoration projects as well as recognition for landowners who are maintaining natural areas on their ranches and farms.
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