Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society Dedicated to the preservation of our natural and cultural heritage
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Your contributions have assisted with this valuable work that assists with the sustainability and conservation of our natural region.

2015 projects

$5,000 grant to Nature Conservancy of Canada
Read March 26, 2015 release from Nature Conservancy Canada (76 KB PDF)
Learn more about Kit Carr from Nature Conservancy Canada (293 KB PDF)

Ongoing support of the historic trails in the Northern Cascade
Read the report (591 KB PDF)

2014 projects

Ongoing support of the historic trails in the Northern Cascade.

Clearcut logging 40 years later

Our society was one of the first groups in B.C. to question forestry control and harvesting methods. In 1975, the society published the document, Is Everything All Right Up There? written by OSPS director John Woodworth. The comprehensive survey and study concluded that there were adverse affects and outcomes to clearcut logging in B.C.'s southern interior.

In 1975 "(c)lear cutting and slash burning in mountain watersheds is standard practice in British Columbia," wrote Woodworth. "But is it suitable for the water-dependent Okanagan, Kettle and Similkameen Valleys?"

Fast-forward nearly 40 years. Reports show large patches of logging around the base of Brent Mountain, and other locations in the region, with problems similar to those that occurred in the 1970s. What have we learned? Read the full document here. (13 MB PDF)

OSPS Supports Okanagan Lakeside Trail
Okanagan Lakeside Trail

2013 projects

$5,000 grant supports Rotary Club of Summerland and Trails of the Okanagan Read Summerland Review articles Following the Pathway & Lakeshore pathway gains support

$1,000 grant supports the 2013 Meadowlark Festival

$5,000 grant supports the Nature Conservancy of Canada to assist with wildlife throughways

OSPS celebrates Canada Day at Manning Provincial Park. Read more here.

Ongoing support of the historic trails in the Northern Cascade. Read more here.

2012 projects

$1,000 grant supports the 2012 Meadowlark Festival

$3,800 grant supports ongoing restoration of Northern Cascades historic trails

Ongoing restoration of the historic trails in the Northern Cascades

Dewdney TrailBarely visible is the Dewdney Trail that winds its way along Snass Creek in the Cascade Recreation Area of Manning Park. This historic route requires major brushing and windfall removal that will be done by a variety of groups throughout the summer and fall of 2012. There is over 50 kilometers of the original trail remaining today thanks to the past efforts of OSPS. The western trailhead is at the Cascade parking area off of Highway # 3 in Manning Park and the eastern trailhead is at Forty-seven Mile Creek on the Whipsaw Forest Service Road close to Princeton, B.C.

Hudson's Bay Fur Brigade TrailThree volunteers from the Hope Mountain Centre descend on the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail that passes by the scenic Palmer's Pond. Hope Mountain Centre and the Back Country Horsemen of BC have been instrumental in the restoration of the trail which this year will include the construction of three backcountry campsites along the 53 kilometer route. Check out "trails" on www.hopemountain.org for more details.

Hopeful hikersL-R Daniel Del Rio, Mexico, Sharon Anderson, Coalmont, Rod Dixon, Tulameen, Nancy Melville, 100 Mile House, Char Sellers, Princeton, Myrna Bosomworth, Summerland, Kelley Cook and Feral, Princeton, Johanna Nott, Princeton and Mary Mitchell, Squamish. Standing in the back is John Henry of Princeton.

The group calling themselves the "Hopeful Hikers" set out on the west side of the Cascades in 2008 searching for the remains of the Hudson's Bay Brigade Trail heading east over the Cascade Mountains. The 10 hikers were successful in locating the trail from Peers Creek west to the Cascade Divide on Mount Davis. Some sections were very difficult to follow as there had not been maintained more than 15 years.

Grant to Nature Trust

In February 2012 the Parks Society topped up The Nature Trust of BC's Twin Lakes property with a gift of $10,000. Read more.   Twin Lakes map

Horn Lake Panorama
Terrain at Twin Lakes, critical habitat for many bird, bat, amphibian and snake species at risk.      Image courtesy Don Guild

OSPS Supports Proposed National Park

Read more.
Feasibility Study Report


2010-11 projects

Rare plant survey, Oliver Mountain

The Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society contributed $3000 toward a wildlife and plant inventory project at Oliver Mountain in the summer of 2010. Oliver Mountain is a Goal 2 protected area candidate, identified by the Okanagan-Shuswap Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP). The funds were used to hire experts for rare plant and reptile inventory. This information, combined with other data, will help to document the importance of the area and to identify sensitive sites for management or protection.

Botanist Mike Miller searched the area for rare plants species. Mike provided the summary available here.

Bike path along Highway 97

The society's input has been sought with regard to bicycle and roller-blade paths with the construction of new highways. Our 'expertise' in and commitment to such paths have led to the consultation with regard to the highway work south of Oliver. In the future, safe non-motorized pathway links could be joined to form a continuous route from Summerland south to Osoyoos. Learn more...

Fur Brigade Trail Signs

In Summerland, the OSPS has helped to ensure that historical aspects of the 19th century Fur Brigade Trail are explained and celebrated by funding signs that were installed in 2011.

Brigade Trail with signs   Brigade Trail sign   Close up of Brigade Trail sign
Click any of the above images to enlarge.                         Images courtesy Summerland Public Works

What is the Fur Brigade Trail?
The Fur Brigade Trails were first used in 1811. Most of them were native trails dating back 6,000 years. This specific brigade trail {Summerland} was used from 1812-1846 and then again used by the gold miners in 1858-1862 on their journey to the Cariboo and Barkerville.

The fur trade route started at Astoria Oregon and went by canoe up the Columbia River to Fort Okanagan in Washington State. From there the route was by land using horses, sometimes up to 300 horses per trip. The trail went through the Okanagan Valley to Fort Alexandria and further north and east.

Okanagan Lake

Summerland Preserves Fur Brigade Trail
The most frequently identified stopping site (encampment) on historic maps was Priest Camp. In February 1998 the District of Summerland created a fifty acre Priest Camp Historic Park. During Summerland's Centennial year, a 4.1 km linear park, The Fur Brigade Linear Park was created. This linear park extends past municipal boundaries onto leased provincial crown land. This is the only preserved encampment and trail site of the historic Okanagan Brigade Trail.

How to access the trail
Take Garnett Valley Road to Garnett Lake (becomes a dirt road). Continue on this road staying to the right until you reach a narrow crossroads (fenced gas valve station on the right). Walk straight ten minutes to lookout. Do NOT attempt to drive the trail downhill to Peachland. Too dangerous.

Ongoing issues and projects

  • South Okanagan Lower Similkameen National Park proposal
  • Brent Mountain longstanding requests for park status for 12,000 ha (29,650 acres) around Brent Mountain west of Summerland. Learn more...
  • Enforcement of Class a park restrictions (no motor vehicles, no access roads) in Okanagan Mountain Park and requests to the provincial government to purchase private lands remaining with the park boundary.
  • Designation of the Ashnola Wildlife Management Area between the Lower Similkameen River and Cathedral Park.
  • Request for park status for the Cascade Recreation Area and Historic Trails Corridors and protection of spotted owl and grizzly habitat in the Cascade Mountains of B.C.
  • Government purchase of all abandoned Kettle Valley Railway right-of-way from Hope to Castlegar to maintain the integrity of the route for conversion to hiking/biking use, 639 km (397 miles).
  • The need for an all-terrain vehicle act for the province.

Our proud history

  • Cathedral Park created in 1968 (7,373 ha; 18,217 acres), expanded to 33,000 ha (81,542A) following 1973 OSPS brief recommending expansion.
  • Conkle Lake Park created following OSPS recommendation (587 ha; 1,450 acres) providing 24 campsites in the Boundary Country east of Osoyoos.
  • Okanagan Mountain Park created in 1973 following numerous presentations to the provincial government (10,462 ha; 25,851 acres); considered a wilderness park, containing 25 km (15 miles) of Okanagan lakeshore.
  • Red Bridge, Keremeos Learn more...
  • Cascades (Historic Trails) North of Manning Park historic and recreation interest since 1967; working for preservation of the Proposed Wilderness and five historic trails dating from 1849; with briefs to government on three occasions, resulted in the Cascade Recreation Area of 16,680 ha (41,216 acres) and corridor protection for 150 km (93 miles) of historic trails.
  • Assisting the International Bicycling and Hiking Society in its "Rails to Trails" conversion of 18.4 km (11.4 miles) of Kettle Valley Railroad near Oliver and sponsoring a Rails to Trails symposium in the late 1980s.
  • The society, one of the first lay groups to question forestry control and harvesting methods, published "Is Everything All Right Up There?" in 1972. This was followed by sponsorship of a "Selective Logging" symposium in the late 1980s.
  • Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) - Selection Monitoring Committee Learn more...

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