A section of mature water birch forest alongside Keremeos Creek has been purchased by the Southern Interior Land Trust. Submitted photo

A section of mature water birch forest alongside Keremeos Creek has been purchased by the Southern Interior Land Trust. Submitted photo

Conservation group acquires property on Keremeos Creek

New habitat reserve named for dedicated Lake Country volunteer

The Southern Interior Land Trust (SILT) has purchased 4.9 hectares (12 acres) of seasonally-flooded mature water birch forest, on the banks of Keremeos Creek near Olalla, between Penticton and Keremeos.

Related:Nature Trust of B.C. purchases property in South Okanagan

The property is an intact streamside water birch forest, one of very few remaining in the Okanagan-Similkameen. It provides habitat for at least five federally-listed species at risk, including the yellow-breasted chat, western screech owl and Lewis’s woodpecker. It is also good habitat for deer, bear, bobcat and badger that travel across the valley, and for rainbow trout in the creek.

Tireless volunteer Ron Taylor helping out at a Winfield Fish and Game Club fundraiser in 2002.

The property will be known as the R.E. Taylor Conservation Property, in honour of Ron Taylor of Winfield, B.C., whose dedication and commitment to wildlife conservation in B.C. has spanned more than half a century. Ron helped to create SILT over 30 years ago, served as its president for many years, and has been on the board of directors since the society was formed in 1988.

SILT is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit charity dedicated to conserving land for all living things. SILT works to acquire wildlife habitat that act as stepping-stones for animal movement through developed areas.

SILT believes that maintaining public access to its conservation lands rewards and further engages the people that support and benefit from habitat conservation.

“The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is very pleased to contribute to the purchase of this property to protect some very rare undisturbed valley bottom habitat in the Okanagan,” said HCTF CEO Brian Springinotic. Though the foundation was not aware of SILT’s plan to name the property after Ron Taylor when it decided to support the project, Springinotic says it is a fitting tribute. “Naming this property after Ron is a fantastic way to recognize his many contributions to conservation in B.C., including past participation on the HCTF board of directors.”

Learn more and donate to support SILT at: www.siltrust.ca. Tax receipts will be issued for donations of cash, land or bequests.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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