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Pioneer Oyama family donates private land to ducks

Marsh Lake in Oyama will be preserved as a marshland habitat thanks to a generous donation by a long time resident.
Image Credit: Contributed
November 03, 2015 - 8:30 AM

OYAMA - An Oyama family has generously donated a parcel of land to a national wetlands preservation society.

The Young family settled in Oyama more than a century ago and was granted a parcel of land to be used for grazing land and for faming oats and potatoes in the 1930s.

By the time Joyce Young, now 96, married Richard Young in the summer of 1950, the climate had changed and the marsh returned, making farming impossible. Joyce Young had come to love the prolific wildlife that flocked to the area and she continued to live on its shores for decades.

Joyce and her two sons became concerned with the ongoing loss of wetland habitat in the Okanagan valley and so decided to donate the land to Ducks Unlimited Canada, a registered charity that partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment.

For the donation, the Youngs were given tax credits only and by spring 2014 biological and land surveys were completed and titles transferred.

“Although (Ducks Unlimited Canada) largely intends to preserve the wetland in its current condition, in late October an exciting change occurred at the site as DUC restored a grassy area alongside the wetland to native riparian vegetation,” says a media release. “Wildlife populations in the area will benefit from the addition of prickly rose, snowberry, willow, dogwood and other shrubs planted along the wetland edge.”

Site restoration work to the area now known as Marsh Lake, was conducted by local contractor Interior Land Reclamation Ltd., and funded by Environment Canada's National Wetland Conservation Fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Ducks Unlimited.

The release says more than 85 per cent of historic valley bottom wetlands in the Okanagan region have been lost to agriculture and development.

“In donating this valuable land, the Young family is leaving a legacy of wildlife habitat for future generations to enjoy.”

Joyce Young and her two sons became concerned with the ongoing loss of wetland habitat in the Okanagan valley and decided to donate their land to Ducks Unlimited Canada.
Joyce Young and her two sons became concerned with the ongoing loss of wetland habitat in the Okanagan valley and decided to donate their land to Ducks Unlimited Canada.
Image Credit: Contributed

— This story was changed Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 3:50 p.m. to clarify that the land was donated by the Young family alone.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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