Remembering Rick Simpson

RICHARD (RICK) LARKE SIMPSON.....12/4/1944 – 02/2/2019


After nearly a decade on the board of the Southern Interior Land Trust, most recently as vice-president, avid conservationist Rick Simpson of Kelowna passed away Feb. 2 of cancer. For health reasons, he had resigned from the board last year.

Rick had a particular interest in conservation of habitat for fish and had devoted his spare time and his energy for more than four decades in various areas of the province, and provincially, to helping to improve survival rates for spawning salmon and kokanee.

At the same time, he focussed on mentoring and educating young people so there would be passionate new anglers to appreciate the natural world and work to follow in his footsteps. He also volunteered with fish and game clubs, the B.C. Wildlife Federation, Fishing Forever, the regional environmental advisory commission, and was on the Okanagan Salmon Community Initiative, part of an Okanagan Nation Alliance project to re-introduce salmon to the Okanagan. He was outspoken on environmental issues in his community.

Networking and promoting collaboration between different sectors of a community was a mantra of his, and he involved all sectors of the community, from industry to civic authorities to volunteers and the general public in habitat conservation causes.

Rick will be greatly missed, and the board and members of the Southern Interior Land Trust express our sadness and condolences to the Simpson family. He is survived by his partner of over 15 years Gael Russell, his son Richard Kemp Simpson, his daughter Kelly Suzanne Simpson, the mother of his children Grace Bartel, his brother Jeffery Simpson and his sister Victoria Nuttall.

Rick Simpson Obituary

R.E. Taylor Conservation Property

For Immediate Release

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.

The property is a gem of 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. 

The property will be known as the R.E. Taylor Conservation Property, in honour of Ron Taylor of Winfield, BC, whose dedication and commitment to wildlife conservation in BC 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 those gems and jewels of 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. SILT thanks everyone who donates to support SILT’s work. SILT also recognizes the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) and the hunters, trappers, guides and anglers that contribute to the HCTF through their licence fees, for making a significant financial contribution to the R.E. Taylor Conservation Property purchase. 

“The HCTF is very pleased to contribute to the purchase of this property to protect some very rare undisturbed valley bottom habitat in the Okanagan,” says 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’s a fitting tribute. “Naming this property after Ron is a fantastic way to recognize his many contributions to conservation in BC, 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.

NEWS MEDIA:

Direct questions and logo requests to Al Peatt, SILT Executive Director, at: 250-328-4699; or apeatt@siltrust.ca

SILT BioBlitz a Success



The Southern Interior Land Trust (SILT) held its first ever BioBlitz last month at its Cold Creek property near Keremeos. We had 17 attendees, including six national and provincial experts in plants, mosses, butterflies, bats and birds. More than 200 species were documented.

The information gathered will be used to help SILT plan for further long-term conservation of this remarkable land. We appreciate everyone who volunteered their time and experience and thank Telus and Argo Road Maintenance for supporting the event. Our Cold Creek property is 20 hectares of Similkameen River frontage with mature cottonwood thickets extending through to sagebrush, dry cliffs and a year-round spring-fed creek. It is habitat for bighorn sheep, mountain goat, deer, rattlesnakes and falcons, to name just a few.

SILT owns four properties outright and is working on prospects in the Similkameen, Okanagan, West Kootenay and Thompson-Nicola areas. Tax receipts may be issued for donations of cash or land.

Click here to support SILT or email: apeatt@siltrust.ca

Cold Creek BioBlitz Planned

BioBlitz Canada

Hi everybody!!

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone that is planning to participate in our upcoming BioBlitz to be held on Saturday, June 2nd. It is going to be an excellent day of outdoor fun and species identification! The BioBlitz will run from 6:00 am until 11:00 pm. Download the Agenda

 

This will be a small BioBlitz consisting mostly of experts, generalists and participants that are keen on learning and developing their ID skills!! We look forward to seeing you all there!

 

Each of the organizers will be present on the property for the day and will be happy to assist you in any way possible!!

Getting to the property:

Cold Creek is located ~9kms west of Keremeos on Highway 3. We will have "SILT BIOBLITZ" signs posted on the highway from both directions to help you find us. Below, is a link to a google maps point so you can use GPS if you desire https://goo.gl/maps/69vZTfqDr

Parking for the event will be in the pullout section on the side of the highway. Signs will be posted to help guide you to the parking area.

Once you Arrive:

We ask that you register when you arrive and collect your species ID report cards. Once registered, you are free to go about the property and ID...ID...ID!

You are welcome to stay as long as you like and to participate in identifying as many species as you like!

Meals will be provided to the participants who are present at those times Attached is the preferred "Schedule of Events"

Experts are welcome to come whenever, and stay for as long as you like.  We do however ask that you are present during your allotted time in order for less experienced participants to have you around while they are working & learning!

Accommodations:

If anyone is in need of places to stay, there are camp sites, motels and hotels within reasonable distance from the property. Email me directly for suggestions. 

Materials & Equipment:

As SILT is not a science-based organization, we have limited equipment and therefore ask that if you are able, please bring your own equipment for your own use:

  • Binoculars
  • Butterfly nets
  • Traps
  • Field guides
  • GPS
etc.

General Things to Bring:

  • ID materials (ID books, keys, hand lenses etc)
  • Clip Board
  • Water bottle- refill station available
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Other sun protective gear
 

If you have any more questions or concerns, please feel free to email, text or call me by responding to this email address carlymariescott@gmail.com, or reaching me at 613-340-5722.

 

We look forward to seeing you all there!! Warmest regards,

Carly Scott

Cold Creek

SILT Hires Executive Director

Al Peatt

Professional Biologist Al Peatt has been retained by the Southern Interior Land Trust as its executive director — a new direction for the 29-year-old volunteer-run organization — effective June 1st.

Peatt was one of the founding directors of the society, so this brings him full-circle.

Most recently, he was senior wildlife biologist for the Okanagan Nation Alliance and prior to that he worked for the B.C. Ministry of Environment in the Southern Interior through the 1980s and 1990s.

He was recently awarded a Fellow in Association of Professional Biology, one of only a few in B.C., by the Association of Professional Biology. This designation is reserved for members that stand as role models and bring distinction to the profession with inspiration and mentorship to other members.

With this newly-created position, Peatt will work to rejuvenate and raise the profile of the SILT, which currently owns four conservation properties: Ginty’s Pond in Cawston, Cold Creek near Keremeos, and Edwards Pond and Wards Lake at Grand Forks.

SILT has also assisted in acquiring such properties as Rose Valley Regional Park, a Swan Lake wetland, productive spawning habitat on Christina Lake and vital bighorn sheep habitat on the east side of Skaha Lake.

Peatt was a key participant in several of SILT’s original acquisitions and is excited to bring his many years of experience in land securement and wildlife habitat management to the organization’s new role.

The Southern Interior Land Trust also helps to administer projects such as the Okanagan River Restoration Initiative, Ellis Creek re-naturalization and Mission Creek Restoration in collaboration with a number of other non-government organizations, governments and conservation groups.

SILT’s primary emphasis is to acquire local gems of productive wildlife and fish habitat that provide valuable linkages to other larger-scale habitats and conservation areas.

“With this step forward, SILT will renew its purpose to protect sensitive fish and wildlife habitat for all living things in the B.C. southern interior, including people” said SILT President Ross Everatt. “We are excited to continue and expand SILT’s long history of habitat securement. It’s all good!”

Learn more about the SILT from the website at: www.siltrust.ca

If you are interested in learning more about the organization; becoming involved in its work; donating or bequeathing land or money for conservation, call/text Al Peatt at: (250) 328-4699 or email apeatt@siltrust.ca

Media enquiries:

SILT President Ross Everatt (250)- 499-9840

SILT Board Elected for 2017

The SILT elected a new Board of Directors at its AGM held on March 18, 2017.

President: Ross Everatt

Vice President: Rick Simpson

Secretary: Judie Steeves

Treasurer: Gordon Wilson

Directors: Joan Lindsay; Bill Bosch.

President Emeritus: Ron Taylor

SILT 2016 AGM

The SILT Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the Society's HO located at 916 Ethel Street, in Kelowna. New members Al Peatt and Rod Torgerson joined the board of directors and Rick Simpson was named vice-president, while the other executive members were re-appointed: Ross Everatt as president, Gord Wilson as treasurer, Judie Steeves as secretary. New brochures with the organization’s new name, the Southern Interior Land Trust, have now been printed and are available.