Walk with us through the immense 4,339.4-hectare White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch. Before you is an open landscape of dry, bushy grasses that crunch under your feet. Rolling hills are smattered in ponderosa pines and Douglas-fir trees. A peaceful, still lake reflecting the colours of the hills and the sky is visible ahead.
In one field you come across beautiful purple wildflowers, on a hill you see vibrant yellow balsam root. An endangered half-moon hairstreak butterfly flitters between the flowers.
These grassy fields are filled with flora and fauna, including 27 Red- and Blue-listed plant communities and 57 species at risk. As you walk you encounter a few: a painted-turtle basking in a pond, an American badger meandering through the grass. Coexisting with the natural biodiversity are herds of cows grazing sustainably on the land.
Walking through White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch, a sense of awe befalls you to be in a place where management for people and biodiversity is so intertwined.
“The Nature Trust’s Biodiversity Ranching Program continues to demonstrate that sustainable cattle management is synonymous with protecting both biodiversity and conservation values” –
- Nicholas Burdock, Okanagan Conservation Land Manager
- White Lake Basin was acquired between 1996 and 2021 with 8152 hectares and is a leader in Biodiversity ranch programs, which integrate livestock management with conservation of habitat for species at risk.
- The Biodiversity Ranch is made-up of many fee simple properties and grazing licenses with diverse habitats of grassland, sagebrush steppe, rugged terrain, dry coniferous forest, riparian forest, wetland, seasonally flooded field and lake.
- White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch is a “hot-spot” for biodiversity with 27 Red- and Blue-listed plant communities and 57 species at risk within its boundaries