Is a national park reserve the right way to go?
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 in the area.
Until February 28th, 2019 feedback was being gathered by the government of Canada on the proposed South Okanagan national park reserve. A summary report was released to the public in spring, an agreement on a park boundary and land management is planned to be released by summer 2019.
The online consultation period has ended, but your voice can still be heard. Take a moment to read the letter below and submit it to your federal and provincial representatives.