Trust protects 80 acres

The Nature Trust of British Columbia’s land holdings in the South Okanagan have grown.

The organization announced Wednesday it has completed the purchase of an 80-acre area in the White Lake Basin that’s home to several endangered species.

Park Rill Creek winds through the property, providing habitat to creatures like the endangered Half-moon Hairstreak butterfly and rare Painted Turtle. The property is rich in vegetation, desert grassland, broadleaf woodlands and sagebrush, which provides ample nesting opportunities for the Sage Thrasher.

“Thanks to the outstanding support of key partners and individual donors, we are able to protect this important habitat for a wide range of wildlife and plants. This property connects to other Nature Trust lands, expanding conservation in the South Okanagan,” said Nature Trust CEO Jasper Lament.

The Park Rill Creek property will be added to the trust’s White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch complex, one of the largest intact grasslands in the region. The ranch is an innovative program where the trust works with a ranching family to help protect species at risk while they maintain a viable ranching operation.  

“The White Lake Basin is one of the gems in The Nature Trust of BC’s conservation land portfolio,” says Nick Burdock, Okanagan Conservation Land Manager.  “The Park Rill Creek property is one of the finest examples of mixed riparian habitat along the Park Rill corridor. You really get the sense that this piece of land has been cared for in a way that protected its conservation values.”

Funding for the purchase was provided by several nonprofits, businesses and private donors, including the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, South Okanagan Conservation Fund which is overseen by the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, the South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club and more.

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