Southern Interior Land Trust secures more land to protect bighorn sheep herd near Grand Forks

Saving space for bighorns

The Southern Interior Land Trust (SILT) has secured more land key to providing habitat for protected species including the iconic California bighorn sheep that call the Interior home. 

A total of 35 hectares of grassland habitat two kilometres east of Grand Forks has been purchased to be held in perpetuity for the animals that call it home. The parcel of land is adjacent to a 109 hectare swathe that SILT was able to acquire earlier this year

A herd of protected bighorn sheep, approximately 200 to 300 animals, rely on the area for sustenance and safety year-round. 

"As well as wild sheep, there are both mule and white-tailed deer; rattlesnake, gopher snake and racer; and birds such as canyon wren which I recently spotted there. An endangered badger was sighted on the property this past August. Both properties have habitat for at least six federally-listed species-at-risk," SILT president Judie Steeves said. 

The parcel was purchased with support from the Wild Sheep Society of B.C., among many other organizations and individuals. As a non-profit, volunteer-run organization, SILT relies on the generosity of donors to do its conservation work. 

“We are proud to once again be a partner in this project that leaves a conservation legacy that will forever be upon the landscape. Resources like this will ensure that future generations have the opportunity to see untouched wild spaces in perpetuity," Kyle Stelter, past-president of the Wild Sheep Society of B.C., said. 

SILT will be working with the local community to ensure motorized vehicles do not access the land.

"Otherwise, the public is welcome to hike over and enjoy the scenic wild beauty of this land," Steeves said. 

SILT owns two other properties in the Grand Forks area — Edwards Pond and at Wards Lake — in addition to land in Keremeos, Cawston and the R.E. Taylor Conservation Property on Keremeos Creek near Olalla. 

Anyone wishing to find out more about SILT or donate to their work conserving land can click here

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