In November 2020, SILT acquired an additional 35 hectares (86 acres) of grassland habitat east of Grand Forks on Morrissey Creek Road, adjacent to its other DL492 property. This additional land secures and provides even more year-round habitat for a herd of 200-300 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.
This low-elevation grassland is significant for more reasons than its great diversity of wildlife. DL 492 lies within an ecosystem that extends only a short way into British Columbia from Washington State, forming a narrow band from Anarchist Summit east along the Kettle River to the Grand Forks basin.
Buying Lot A – DL 493 for conservation was made possible through funding from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, B.C. Conservation Foundation, Tom and Jenifer Foss, the Wild Sheep Society of B.C., Wild Sheep Foundation Alberta, other individual donors, and the Government of Canada through its Natural Heritage Conservation Program.
Photo Credits: Brad Siemens & Judie Steeves