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

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Interior Health to host virtual town hall Friday, March 27

The Q&A forum begins at 6 p.m. PDT, link in story

West Kootenay octogenarian helping develop low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Peter Brockley is working with his doctor son, Graham, to develop the unit that could save lives

Kootenay doctor mobilizes engineers in effort to bolster PPE supply

West Kootenay doctor, engineers and volunteers create personal protection equipment with 3D printers

Interior Health issues alert following confirmed COVID-19 case on WestJet flight

The public exposure alert comes following the March 21 WestJet flight from Calgary to Kamloops

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read