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Let's talk South Okanagan – Similkameen

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South Okanagan Similkameen Landscape

National park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen moves forward

On July 2nd, 2019, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and the syilx/Okanagan Nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formally work toward establishing a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen. This is a significant step towards the establishment of a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.

The iʔ sc̓ax̌ʷtət / Memorandum of Understanding – which confirms the working boundary for the proposed national park reserve, outlines next steps and provides a framework of naqscn/knʔxtwix / collaboration as negotiations begin for an establishment agreement – was signed by the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band, and Chief Keith Crow of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. Working together, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and the syilx/Okanagan Nation are taking action to protect this iconic natural and cultural landscape for future generations.

Click here to learn more.

National park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen moves forward

On July 2nd, 2019, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and the syilx/Okanagan Nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formally work toward establishing a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen. This is a significant step towards the establishment of a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.

The iʔ sc̓ax̌ʷtət / Memorandum of Understanding – which confirms the working boundary for the proposed national park reserve, outlines next steps and provides a framework of naqscn/knʔxtwix / collaboration as negotiations begin for an establishment agreement – was signed by the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable George Heyman, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band, and Chief Keith Crow of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band. Working together, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and the syilx/Okanagan Nation are taking action to protect this iconic natural and cultural landscape for future generations.

Click here to learn more.

  • Objectives and Goals of the Proposed National Park Reserve

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    10 December, 2018

    The South Okanagan – Similkameen region contains some of the most biologically diverse and rare ecosystems in Canada and has sustained Syilx/Okanagan communities for thousands of years. Nature inspires Canadians to take pride in their natural and cultural heritage, from coast to coast to coast, and the South Okanagan – Similkameen region is no exception.

    A new national park reserve will not only renew a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples, but it will contribute to a network of protected and conserved areas. These protected areas help safeguard Canada’s biodiversity and provide unprecedented opportunities for Canadians to experience the outdoors and learn about our environment, and contribute to sustainable economic development.

    The South Okanagan – Similkameen is where the northern edge of the Great Basin reaches into British Columbia, in the extreme south of the Interior Dry Plateau natural region.

    This is one of 39 regions identified by Parks Canada’s national parks system plan as a distinctive component of the national landscape, but is not yet represented by a national park reserve. From both national and provincial perspectives, this is an area of high conservation value and an excellent candidate area for Parks Canada to represent this region.

    The goals of establishing a national park reserve are to:

    • Protect the diversity of vegetation and landscape features of representative ecosystems;

    • Maintain the ecological integrity of wildlife habitat and plant species; and

    • Provide opportunities for quality visitor experiences, such as recreational activities and the presentation of natural and cultural heritage.