Arrowleaf Balsamroot (credit: Jeremy Hiebert)

Your contributions have assisted with this valuable work that assists with the sustainability and conservation of our region’s environment. 

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 within 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
2018 projects
  • $10,000 grant to contribute funds to Nature Conservancy for the Bobolink Meadows II lands
  • Continued to be in communication with and associated with The Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance, the organization addressing the Peachland Watershed problems. Likeminded groups have now formed a B.C. Forestry Protection Association.
  • Support proposed Okanagan Similkameen National Park Reserve
    • Director attended RDOS meeting at which Sara Boyle from Parks Canada presented information on the proposed National Park Reserve
    • OSPS has been one of the groups to be involved in the direct consultation by Parks Canada
  • Contributed to the memorial and tree for Gwen Barlee, a former environmentalist, located in Summerland
2016-2017 projects
  • Monitored and responded to the planned Bathhurst Road Hydro Sub-station
  • OSPS received a Heritage B.C. award for work on the Hudson’s Bay Trail (signage)
  • OSPS sent a report about Oliver Mountain to the government, advising of ‘at risk species’ and the society’s belief that there is no place on the mountain for motorized vehicles.
2015 projects

  • Ongoing support of the historic trails in the Northern Cascade. Read the report (591 KB )
  • Sponsored Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Living to cover the archaeological bill for the camps and Olivine trail in the Cascades
  • Sponsored FOSS (Friends of South Slopes) for the 10 km trail reconstruction in Okanagan Mountain Park.
2014 projects
  • Ongoing support of the historic trails in the Northern Cascade
  • Investigated clearcut logging 40 years laterOur 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 )

2013 projects
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. Read more…
    • 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 mapPanorama of Horn Lake
      Photo courtesy of Don Guild

    Terrain at Twin Lakes, critical habitat for many bird, bat, amphibian and snake species at risk.

    2010-2011 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. Learn more…

      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…