Our vision: We wish to see the Okanagan as an example of humans and nature living in balance, with watersheds intact and healthy, and all waterways restored to as close to a natural state as possible. Our communities would have means of connecting with nature, through a network of human and nature parks with connective corridors throughout the region. We support places where humans and nature can co-exist such as large free range ranches, sustainable forestry operations and eco-tourism activities. .
Please join Sierra Okanagan for our next meeting at the Mission Hall in Kelowna on August 10, at 1 pm.
Our main areas of concern are watersheds and grasslands. The group is currently focusing on the following watersheds in the Okanagan Valley:
Upper BX Creek
Lower BX Creek
Aberdeen Plateau Lakes
We emphasize the importance of fish-spawning habitat and healthy fisheries in Okanagan Lake, Kalamalka Lake and Wood Lake.
To enhance the protection of our region's dwindling grasslands, we are working toward the preservation, of several areas in the North Okanagan, including the Bella Vista/Goose Lake range near Vernon, currently at extreme risk of being taken over by residential development and lost forever. This area covers 5,728 ha, and includes private land, Indian Reserve lands, and a small area of Crown land within the Interior Douglas-fir very dry, hot, Okanagan variant biogeoclimatic subzone. As part of this project, Sierra Okanagan would work with First Nations, local and provincial government to protect this area as the North Okanagan Grasslands Heritage Site.
The natural and cultural heritage of this area is very important to our community. For thousands of years the Okanagan people prospered on this land and since the 1800’s European settlers have build a culture and community around ranching and farming. In fact the first of the BC fruit industry started in the Vernon area and one of BC’s first ranches grazed their cattle on this very range.
Leave a legacy by taking the first step with us, by saving what grasslands there is left in the North Okanagan by donating to Sierra Club Okanagan.
There is approximately 2,000 hectares of privately owned native grasslands in the Bella Vista/Goose Lake Range that is at risk of development. To preserve this land, we propose to acquire these properties and have their eco-systems and habitats protected for all time. With the help of generous individuals, groups and corporations we can achieve this goal and with continued giving to this program we can protect other lands as well. With on-going support, in a matter of a decade we can have the majority of the most vulnerable grasslands in the North Okanagan protected. We will need a considerable amount of contributions to achieve this goal, keeping in mind that each regional district is putting aside money just for this purpose, to purchase land for protection. Once these natural areas are in caring hands, the governments can purchase these lands back as money comes available, making our efforts perpetual, so please spread the word.
Leave a legacy - preserve the North Okanagan Grasslands
If you would like to join in with us to preserve these endangered grasslands and watersheds, please email Brad Foster or phone (250)308-4099.