The Nature Trust of BC has the opportunity to purchase and protect 11 hectares (27 acres) of wild, native grasslands in the South Okanagan within the traditional territory of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band (Sməlqmix) and Okanagan Nation (Syilx People).
Known as the Nighthawk Hill Grasslands, the area is an important wildlife corridor that allows animals to access the river from the South Okanagan Grasslands Provincial Protected Area – a massive conservation complex that encompasses 9,364 hectares over five discrete locations. Once purchased, this biodiversity-rich area will be protected with a conservation land designation, ensuring that it will never be sold or developed.
Temperate grasslands are considered to be one of the most altered terrestrial ecosystems on the planet and are endangered on most continents. Low elevation grasslands are the rarest land cover in British Columbia, the very hot dry Bunchgrass ecosystems in the South Okanagan are in particular danger of being lost as only 6.9% have been protected in either parks or conservation areas.