The Nature Trust of BC has donated 252 acres of ecologically important land near Okanagan Falls called Park Rill Floodplain. (Graham Osborne photo)

The Nature Trust of BC has donated 252 acres of ecologically important land near Okanagan Falls called Park Rill Floodplain. (Graham Osborne photo)

Nature Trust of BC adds 252 acres of ecologically important land in South Okanagan

The land is home to at risk Western Tiger Salamander and rare grasslands

The Nature Trust of BC announced that it has purchased an additional 252 acres (102 hectares) of ecologically important land in the South Okanagan.

The land will be added to the White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch conservation complex, an extensive conservation area covering 20,317 acres (8,222 hectares) near Willowbrook.

It was July 2021, when 151 acres (61 hectares) of land, known as the Park Rill Floodplain, was added to the White Lake biodiversity ranch complex.

READ MORE; Farmers donate Okanagan land to Nature Trust of BC

The native grasslands of the South Okanagan are a hotspot for biodiversity, hosting a huge number of B.C.’s at-risk species including the Western Tiger Salamander, said The Nature Trust of BC.

Grasslands are also one of the rarest and most important types of land, covering less than one per cent of B.C.’s land base, with few intact swaths of open plains remaining. The land consists of coniferous woodland, wet meadow, riparian, and mature forest, each of which contribute to carbon sequestration, said the press release.

The conservation of this property will not only help sustain biodiversity, it will help mitigate the effects of climate change, said The Nature Trust.

“We are very grateful for the land owner’s wish to conserve this property and for our passionate funders. Protecting Park Rill Creek DL 1995 will expand our White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch complex and create a more resilient landscape in the face of climate change,” said Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC.

The property adds to The Nature Trust’s conservation holdings and expands this large and contiguous protected area between the White Lake Grasslands Protected Area and provincial Wildlife Habitat Area.

“Like The Nature Trust of BC, Wheaton recognizes the importance of taking action to reduce humanity’s impact on climate change and ensure the protection of lands for future generations,” said Randy Smallwood, Wheaton’s President and CEO. “The conservation of the Park Rill Creek property in the South Okanagan will not only help sustain biodiversity in the region but will also help mitigate the effects of climate change through its carbon rich ecosystems.”

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