FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 13, 2018
In October 2017, the federal and provincial governments, along with representatives from southern communities of the Sylix/Okanagan Nation, announced their “renewed commitment” to work together to establish a national park reserve. There are three areas in the proposed national park reserve in the jurisdiction of the Lower Similkameen, Penticton and Osoyoos bands.
The BC Wildlife Federation has three primary concerns regarding the proposed South Okanagan national park reserve:
- The loss of local investment and control
- Parks Canada’s failure to protect and enhance biodiversity
- Parks Canada’s exclusion of traditional activities such as hunting
The BC Wildlife Federation does not believe the best way to protect species- at-risk is to put them in a national park reserve, in isolation of other conservation partners and the broader landscape, and without specific management objectives.
Until these conservation questions and concerns are resolved, the BCWF remains steadfastly opposed to formation of a national park for the region. Processes must be established for parks that are inclusive of all communities and First Nations in the area.
From now until February 28th, 2019 feedback is being gathered by the government of Canada on the proposed South Okanagan national park reserve. After feedback has been collected and reviewed, a summary report will be released to the public in spring 2019, with the goal of having an agreement on a park boundary and land management by summer 2019.
If you have concerns about the proposed South Okanagan national park reserve, visit the consultation page and provide your feedback.