Conservation land purchase to protect wildlife near Grand Forks

The property is year-round habitat for a herd of 200-300 California bighorn sheep

A conservation group’s purchase of a property near Grand Forks is going to be a big addition to protecting bighorn sheep habitat in the area.

The Southern Interior Land Trust has purchased 109 hectares (270 acres) of open, rolling hills of bunchgrass interspersed with patches of trembling aspen-rose thickets located just east of Grand Forks.

The property is year-round habitat for a healthy herd of 200 to 300 California bighorn sheep.

Rams and ewes of all ages use the land. It is also excellent winter and spring range for mule deer and white-tailed deer.

Several species-at-risk occur, including rattlesnake, gophersnake, spadefoot toad, tiger salamander and badger.

Southern Interior Land Trust is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit charity dedicated to conserving land for all living things. The Trust works to acquire those gems and jewels of wildlife habitat that also act as “stepping-stones” for animal movement through developed areas.

The property in question is low-elevation grassland adjacent to provincially designated bighorn sheep winter range and lies between two other private conservation properties, both of which provide secure connecting habitat to higher elevations for bighorn sheep, deer and other wildlife.

The Trust believes that maintaining non-mechanized public access to its lands rewards and further engages the people that support and benefit from habitat conservation, provided such use is safe, legal and protects the integrity of the land.

The property has had a decades-long history of cattle grazing and uncontrolled trespass for off-road ATV use.

This has caused some hillslope erosion and soil disturbance. To manage the property for wildlife, the Trust will work with its conservation partners, government, and local off-road and other interested groups to promote awareness, exclude cattle, restrict ATV use, and enhance the habitat value of the property.

“Southern Interior Land Trust is pleased to have purchased [the property] to protect some very important grassland habitat,” says president Ross Everatt. He said the property complements two other of the Trusts conservation properties in the Grand Forks area, Edwards Pond and at Wards Lake.

“Acquiring [the property] for conservation was made possible by the generous support of the former landowner; the BC Conservation Foundation; the Wild Sheep Society of BC and its members; the Grand Forks Wildlife Association; and other donors and Southern Interior Land Trust supporters.”

Conservation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A map showing grasslands east of Grand Forks. Area purchased by Southern Interior Land Trust outlined in red. (RKDB/Submitted)

Just Posted

Broadwater Road residents allowed to return home after evacuation order

Area near Castlegar evacuated due to flooding risk

Castlegar grad takes on a new form during COVID-19 pandemic

Stanley Humphries Secondary Class of 2020 will be celebrating in a unique way this year.

Mercer Celgar announces 30 days of downtime at Castlegar mill in July

Sawlog stumpage charges on pulpwood and complex stumpage rules some reasons for downtime

Evacuation orders for Duhamel, Salmo-Ymir and Crawford Creek rescinded

RDCK warns public that streams are still dangerous

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

How to safely drink water in areas impacted by flooding

Quality and safety of drinking water can be affected during and after floods

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Most Read