Southern Interior Land Trust


Formed in 1988 to purchase land for wildlife in the Okanagan Region, the board of the Southern Interior Land Trust Society, (formerly, Okanagan Region Wildlife Heritage Fund Society) aims to conserve and restore wild land as habitat for wildlife, since it is under increasing pressure from development.
A rapidly growing population in the Okanagan Region threatens many remaining pockets of wilderness, and has already altered ecosystems in many areas.
The society was started by a group of B.C. Wildlife Federation members in the Okanagan.
The first executive was President Darrel Winser, vice-president George Traicheff, John Holdstock as treasurer, and directors: Frank Shannon, Clarence Schneider, Greg Norton, Al Peatt, Phil Stannard and Ron Taylor.

Projects & Properties

Currently, the society, renamed to the Southern Interior Land Trust (SILT) Society, owns a number of properties in the region, some purchased outright, while others were bought in collaboration with others.
Such partnerships have strengthened each group’s individual ability to achieve common goals to benefit wildlife.

Other Collaborative efforts have involved:

  • purchase of an easement to supply power to an aerator for Martins Lake near Princeton.
  • Mission Creek Greenway donation in 1997 that resulted in a regional linear park and pathway along the creek
  • participation in the first phase of a deer fencing project.
  • mitigation funds for some waterfront development, were held by the SILT for the Penticton Flyfishers’ Club toward a project to clean and replace kokanee spawning gravel in Penticton Creek, along with upgrading the fish ladder.

The society currently owns:

  • 15.5 acres in Cawston called Ginty’s Pond, which was purchased in 1990. The property is co-managed with the Ministry of Environment.
  • 50 acres of wetland and ponds purchased in 1991 in Grand Forks. The property is called Edward’s Pond.
  • 1.5-acre property overlooking Wards Lake in Grand Forks that was donated to the society in 1991.
  • 50 acres of Similkameen River frontage and access to steep upland Crown lands which are habitat for Bighorn sheep, goats, deer and many other animals and plants. It’s located on both sides of the highway, west of Keremeos and was purchased in 1998. Cold Creek runs through the property.
  • 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 called The R.E.Taylor Conservation Property.

Restoration of damage to wildlife habitat is another goal of the society, and it has already been involved in projects such as the Okanagan River Restoration Initiative, setting back the dykes along this river so its natural flows can be restored, re-creating acres of wildlife and fish habitat in the South Okanagan.

The society has also helped fund such efforts as kokanee enhancement work being done by a number of local fish and game clubs and the provincial environment ministry; deer fencing in the Grand Forks area; the South Okanagan sheep project; Vaseux Creek fishway; Trout Creek restoration; invasive weed eradication; wildlife inventories; environmental education; several lake aeration projects and a bat roost.


The Southern Interior Land Trust is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization and tax receipts can be issued for donations of cash or property or bequests from estates, so consider making a tax-deductible donation of money or land or including the society in your will, in order to further our common objectives of conserving habitat for wildlife. Learn more about how you can make a difference.
SILT has no paid staff, so all donations go directly to fulfilling the society’s mandate of purchasing and restoring habitat for fish and wildlife. It is operated by a volunteer board of directors.

Southern Interior Land Trust Society

President EmeritusRon
Executive DirectorAl Peatt, RPBio,