National park reserve announcement in Penticton expected next week - InfoNews

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National park reserve announcement in Penticton expected next week

A meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday regarding the national park reserve proposal in the South Okanagan.
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June 29, 2019 - 6:00 AM

PENTICTON - Expect to hear an announcement about the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan Similkameen next week.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada Catherine McKenna will join the provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Herman, along with Osoyoos Indian Band Clarence Louie and Lower Similkameen Band Chief Keith Crow for a meeting on July 2.

Parks Canada wrapped up a public consultation process and delivered a report in May, following which Parks Canada project manager Sarah Boyle said the next goal was to confirm a final boundary for the park “by this summer.”

It’s expected following that announcement, negotiations to set the terms and conditions for the formal establishment of a national park reserve will begin.

Parks Canada establishment director Kevin McNamee said a memorandum of understanding between Parks Canada, the province of B.C. and the Okanagan Nation would not be a legally binding agreement, only an indication of the parties willingness to move forward to negotiate an agreement. That MOU is also expected to be signed this year.

Tuesday’s meeting is taking place at 10:15 a.m.. at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in Osoyoos. The announcement will be followed by a short hike.

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