CPAWS-BC welcomes Okanagan Nation Alliance’s support for a national park in the South Okanagan
February 26, 2013
CPAWS-BC welcomes Okanagan Nation Alliance’s support for a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen.
Vancouver – Earlier today, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and its South Okanagan bands announced support for establishing a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen region, a critically threatened landscape that is home to 57 endangered species. This announcement follows completion of a comprehensive, two year feasibility study conducted by the Alliance, which concluded that the creation of the park will significantly benefit their communities.
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society-BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC) is encouraged by this announcement by the Okanagan Nation and its bands. “We applaud the Okanagan Nation Alliance for conducting an extensive and comprehensive feasibility assessment”, stated Peter Wood, Terrestrial Campaigns Director for CPAWS-BC. “First Nations have a crucial role to play in protecting this unique ecosystem through the establishment of a national park reserve.”
CPAWS-BC urges the Provincial and Federal governments to move forward with the park’s establishment. “First Nations and local communities have clearly shown their support for the creation of a national park reserve, and it is time that the Provincial and Federal governments re-engage with this process and move it forward,” says Wood.
A national park will significantly benefit the provincial economy. It will create stable, long-term jobs, increase visitor spending and generate tax revenue. On average, the creation of a national park in B.C. increases provincial GDP by $37.1 million per year.
CPAWS-BC is committed to working with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, local communities and all levels of government to ensure that this treasured landscape remains protected forever, for the benefit of the public.
For more information: Peter Wood, Terrestrial Campaigns Director, Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society at 604-761-3075, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is Canada’s grassroots voice for wilderness. Since 1963 we’ve led in creating over two-thirds of Canada’s protected areas. That amounts to about half a million square kilometers – an area bigger than the entire Yukon Territory. Our vision is to keep at least half of Canada's public land and water wild.
View CPAWS backgrounder on proposed National Park at http://cpawsbc.org/campaigns/south-okanagan-similkameen
View the Okanagan Nation Alliance reports here.