MOU signed for proposed South Okanagan national park reserve - InfoNews

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MOU signed for proposed South Okanagan national park reserve

Governments involved in establishing a national park reserve in the South Okanagan and Similkameen signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday, July 2, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED
July 02, 2019 - 11:14 AM

PENTICTON - A national park reserve in the South Okanagan Similkameen took another step towards reality today with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the provincial, federal and Okanagan Nation governments.

A press release issued by Parks Canada this morning, July 2, called the signing “a significant step towards the establishment of a national park reserve in the South Okanagan Similkameen.”

The memorandum confirms the working boundary for the proposed reserve, outlines the next steps and provides a framework of collaboration as negotiations begin for an establishment agreement.

The agreement was signed today by Minister of Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada Catherine McKenna, B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change George Herman, Osoyoos Indian Band Chief Clarence Louis and Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Keith Crow.

The proposed national park reserve will be 273 square kilometres in size and includes the province's South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area.

“The Smelqmix people have always protected this land. We view the process as a way to work with our partners to implement culturally informed management practises. We look forward to working closely with all our neighbours,” Lower Similkameen Indian Band Chief Keith Crow said.

The signing took place Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos this morning.

The proposed boundary for a national park reserve in the South Okanagan and Similkameen announced Tuesday, July 2, 2019.
The proposed boundary for a national park reserve in the South Okanagan and Similkameen announced Tuesday, July 2, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Parks Canada

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