Southern Interior Land Trust buys bighorn habitat near Grand Forks

Bighorn habitat saved

A key habitat area for a herd of 200-300 bighorn sheep has been purchased by a non-profit conservation group. 

The Southern Interior Land Trust acquired the 109-hectare parcel of land, known as DL 492, just east of Grand Forks as part of their ongoing mandate to protect and maintain local wildlife and habitat. 

All year long, rams and ewes of all ages use the land, as well as mule deer and white-tailed deer in the spring and winter. 

Several at-risk species also call the area home, including rattlesnake, gophersnake, spadefoot toad, tiger salamander and badger. 

The land is adjacent to provincially-designated bighorn sheep winter ranges and lies between two other private conservation properties, securing connecting habitat to higher elevations for the deer and other wildlife. 

“SILT is pleased to have purchased DL 492 to protect some very important grassland habitat,” said SILT president Ross Everatt.

DL 492 complements two other of SILT’s conservation properties in the Grand Forks area, Edwards Pond and at Wards Lake.

“Acquiring DL 492 for conservation was made possible by the generous support of the former landowner, the BC Conservation Foundation, the Wild Sheep Society of BC and its members, the Grand Forks Wildlife Association and other donors and SILT supporters.”

DL 492 has had a decades-long history of cattle grazing and uncontrolled trespass for off-road ATV use. This has caused some hill slope 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 is a volunteer-run, not for profit charity. For more information on their work or to donate, click here

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