A grand opening for Lower Similkameen Indian Band community building
Conservation Northwest / Jul 14, 2015 / British Columbia, First Nations
Our Executive Director Mitch Friedman was honored to attend the grand opening of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB)’s new administrative and community building last week near Keremeos, British Columbia.
Conservation Northwest helped fund and initiate this new building, and we’re proud to see it complete.
“The vision is protection of the band’s natural and cultural heritage and promoting its prosperity in keeping with that,” said Mitch.
Since 1995, we’ve partnered with the LSIB on habitat protection and community programs in south-central British Columbia. This includes working closely on getting the B.C. government to designate the 70,000 acre Snowy Mountain Protected Area, officially established in April 2001.
Directly north of the Loomis State Forest in Washington, where our Loomis Forest Fund campaign saved over 25,000 acres of vital Canada lynx habitat, this provincial protected area protects a wide range of vegetation and wildlife from dry grassland valleys to extensive alpine meadows and supports a significant herd of California bighorn sheep as well as rare lynx.
Today the Snowy Mountain and Loomis Forest areas, along with numerous pre-existing parks including Manning Provincial Park, the Pasayten Wilderness, and North Cascades National Park,form a body of nearly three million acres, the largest protected area complex on the 49th parallel.
The LSIB also share our view that the Enloe Dam, on the Similkameen River just northwest of Oroville, Washington, should be removed. And together we support Parks Canada’s proposal for a new South Okanagan-Similkameen Grasslands National Park to protect biodiversity, habitat connectivity and cultural heritage in the region.