“What We Heard” report to be made public in coming months
March 15, 2019 Syilx Nation, British Columbia Parks Canada Agency
Canada’s national parks and national park reserves are some of the most beautiful places on earth. Not only do our parks draw visitors from around the world, they help protect Canada’s distinct and diverse flora and fauna. We rely on nature and nature relies on us to protect it.
From December 10, 2018 to March 15, 2019, members of the public were invited to share their views and ideas on the proposed boundary for the proposed new national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen and provide input on key aspects for consideration in the management of the lands.
The Governments of Canada and British Columbia along with the Syilx/Okanagan Nation would like to thank local residents, stakeholders, and the Canadian public, who participated in the consultations. Parks Canada held 36 meetings with stakeholder groups representing a variety of interests and received around 2,750 submissions as part of the online consultations.
In addition, the Osoyoos Indian Band and the Lower Similkameen Indian Band held discussions with members of Indigenous communities through ongoing relationships.
While the formal public consultation period has concluded, Parks Canada will continue to work with specific stakeholder groups and private landholders.
A “What we Heard” report will be prepared and shared with the public in the coming months once all feedback has been collected and reviewed. The report will include a summary and analysis of the results of the consultation, which will inform future recommendations regarding the proposed national park reserve.
For more specific information about the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen, visit the Frequently Asked Questions on the Parks Canada website.
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Parks Canada extended the public consultation by two weeks to allow all stakeholder groups, community members, and interested parties an opportunity to submit their views on the proposed boundary and key aspects for consideration in the management of the lands.
In October 2017, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and the Syilx/Okanagan Nation announced a renewed relationship to explore the establishment of a new national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen. The proposed national park reserve will contribute to a network of protected and conserved areas while helping to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
The South Okanagan-Similkameen is one of the most ecologically diverse regions of Canada and protecting this area would support the recovery of more than 30 federally listed species at risk and over 60 provincially listed species, including American badgers, flammulated owls, yellow-breasted chats, desert night snakes, and western rattlesnakes.
The South Okanagan-Similkameen represents an area of significant ecological, geographic and cultural importance with a wide range of recreational and tourism opportunities like hiking, camping, bird watching and mountain biking.