The desert grasslands of the South Okanagan are home to over one-third of British Columbia's endangered species and other species at risk, including the bighorn sheep.
As the human population in the South Okanagan rapidly increases, the bighorn sheep's home is under growing threat by suburban sprawl and agricultural expansion. The time to act is now.
Fact: There are more species at risk in the South Okanagan-Similkameen Valley than in any other part of BC, including white-headed woodpeckers, burrowing owls, badgers, tiger salamanders, spadefoot toads, pallid bats, spotted bats, flammulated owls, scorpions, and great basin spadefoot toads. Fact: The South Okanagan-Similkameen Valley contains part of the Interior Dry Plateau Natural Region, also known as Canada's "pocket desert", one of the most endangered habitats in the country. The valley is all that connects the dry landscapes of BC's interior with the desert lands of the United States, allowing species to migrate north and south.
Fact: A national park would permanently protect 5 Important Bird Areas, each of which is home to at-risk bird species and other endangered plant and animal species.
Help protect Canada's only desert ecosystem. Ask the Canadian Government to create a National Park in the South Okanagan-Similkameen Valley.
Photo: Bighorn Sheep by Dick Cannings
It's time to create a National Park in the South Okanagan-Similkameen Valley
In this International Year of Biodiversity, Canadians are looking to you and the Government of Canada for solid results in protecting our nation's species at risk and the habitats they need to survive. As I am sure you are aware, British Columbia's South Okanagan-Similkameen region is home to at least 63 federally listed species at risk. You currently have an opportunity to protect these and many other species by establishing a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen region, also known as SOS; think of my letter as an SOS call for these species and their dwindling habitats.Despite substantial support from people like me, the designation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park Reserve has been stalled for seven long years. The SOS region contains Canada's "pocket desert" - part of the Interior Dry Plateau Natural Region - that has not yet been protected for the benefit of future generations of Canadians as part of our national park system. I am asking you to please change this.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, Prov Postal Code]