SILT has purchased 109 hectares (270 acres) of open, rolling hills of bunchgrass interspersed with patches of trembling aspen-rose thickets located just east of Grand Forks. The property, known locally as DL 492, is 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 DL 492 for conservation was made possible by the family of the late Walter Mehmal; the BC Conservation Foundation Land for Wildlife Fund; the Brandow Family; the Wild Sheep Society of BC and its members; the Grand Forks Wildlife Association; and other donors and SILT supporters. If you believe the most rewarding investment for the future of wildlife is habitat acquisition and care, please donate to support SILT’s conservation work.
DL 492 has had a decades-long history of cattle grazing and uncontrolled trespass for off-road ATV use. This has caused some hillslope erosion and soil disturbance. To manage DL 492 for wildlife, SILT will work with its conservation partners, government, and local off-road and other interested groups to promote awareness, exclude cattle, restrict ATV use, and enhance the habitat value of the property.
SILT encourages non-mechanized public use of its lands for wildlife-related recreation and nature appreciation. We believe this rewards and engages people that support and benefit from habitat conservation, provided such use is safe, legal and protects the integrity of the land. SILT will conserve DL 492 in perpetuity, for all living things including people, and will never stray from that responsibility.
SILT has an agreement to purchase 109 hectares (270 acres) of rare grassland habitat near Grand Forks. We need to raise $117,000 this month! Please help create another lasting legacy for wildlife. Click here to DONATE. Every dollar matters! Donations are tax deductible.
DL 492 is open, rolling hills of bunchgrass interspersed with patches of trembling aspen-rose thickets. The property is year-round habitat for a healthy 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.
The Grand Forks (Gilpin) sheep herd has provided decades of first-class hunting and excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Your donation will help ensure that undeveloped, productive habitat is protected forever. SILT welcomes and encourages non-mechanized public access for wildlife- and nature-related recreation on all its conservation properties. DONATE HERE
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The Southern Interior Land Trust (SILT) recently added a fifth property to its conservation holdings—a gem of intact streamside water birch habitat on the banks of Keremeos Creek near Olalla.
On Saturday, September 28th, SILT dedicated it the “R.E. Taylor Conservation Property” to honour Ron Taylor of Winfield, BC, in recognition of Ron’s life-long commitment to wildlife conservation. A career teacher and avid outdoorsman, Ron has influenced and mentored hundreds of young and old hunters, fishers, trappers, biologists and conservationists. Ron, through his strong conservation ethic, has always spoken on behalf of fish and wildlife and for the wise use of wild spaces.
Ron helped to create SILT, a non-profit land trust, and has served on its Board of Directors since the society was formed in 1988. He has been an active member of the Oceola Fish and Game Club for decades and has also served on its executive and that of the BC Wildlife Federation. Ron spent years advocating for a balance of natural resource use and protection at the Okanagan-Shuswap Land and Resource Management planning table. He has also served for several years on the Board of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. Ron’s willingness to share his time and knowledge to so many fish and wildlife related endeavours has had positive and lasting impacts on natural resource management in BC.
Situated on flat valley bottomland, the R.E. Taylor Conservation Property provides habitat for at least six federally listed species at risk including yellow-breasted chat, western screech owl, Lewis’s woodpecker, barn owl, badger and common nighthawk. Deer, bear, moose, bobcat and other wildlife also use the property and rainbow trout and other fish live in the creek.
SILT works to keep its properties open to all types of wildlife-related recreation. SILT believes that doing so rewards the people that contribute to habitat conservation. Partial funding to purchase the R.E. Taylor Conservation Property came from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. SILT appreciates the hunters, trappers, guides and anglers that support the foundation through their licence fees, and SILT’s other donors that help make our habitat acquisitions possible—for all living things
Wetlandkeepers Courses are delivered by BCWF and cover a standard set of skills related to wetland classification, plant identification, and soil analyses. For more information, see their website:
In addition to the standard Wetlandkeepers Course content, this event involved an in-depth community-based conversation about Ginty’s Pond. Many Cawston (and area) residents recounted memories of the pond when it would have been classified as a shallow open-water wetland, rather than the cattail marsh that exists today. Some community members expressed a concern for the pond’s current appearance, and expressed a desire to restore it to its former state to facilitate recreational uses like ice skating and boating. SILT’s executive director, Al Peatt, expressed his understanding that a 7:3 ratio of open water to emergent vegetation would optimize habitat value for wildlife.