Land trust purchase near Grand Forks will protect Bighorn sheep habitat | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Land trust purchase near Grand Forks will protect Bighorn sheep habitat

The Southern Interior Land Trust announced the purchase of California bighorn sheep grazing land near Grand Forks yesterday, Nov.18, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Southern Interior Land Trust

A recent land purchase by Southern Interior Land Trust is providing further habitat protection for California bighorn sheep and other wildlife.

The land trust recently purchased 35 ha of grassland habitat two kilometres east of Grand Forks, home to the Gilpin herd, which numbers between 200 and 300 animals.

The purchase included donations from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, B.C. Conservation Foundation, Tom and Jennifer Foss, the Wild Sheep Society of B.C., Wild Sheep Foundation Alberta, the government of Canada and other individual donors.

Earlier this year the land trust purchased 109 ha of adjoining land.

“We’re delighted we’ve been successful in our collaboration with so many different interest groups and individuals to conserve these two properties. Now we need to work with the local community to prevent motorized use of these grasslands, so they are not destroyed for use by wildlife. Otherwise, the public is welcome to hike over and enjoy the scenic wild beauty of this land,” Southern Interior Land Trust President Judie Steeves said in a news release, Nov. 17.

The property is also home to mule and white-tailed deer, rattlesnake, gopher snake and racers. A badger was also seen on the properties, which have habitat for six federally listed species at risk.

The Southern Interior Land Trust owns two other properties in the Grand Forks area, as well as properties near Keremeos and Cawston.

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