Linda Allison, President of the Southern Interior Stockman’s Association recently received a reply to a letter the association wrote to Terry Lake, Minister of Environment last summer outlining the association’s concerns regarding the national park proposal in the South Okanagan – Similkameen.
The letter stated that “The Province recognizes the important conservation values in the South Okanagan area, including some of the most ecologically valuable grasslands in British Columbia. The federal government, with support from the Province, completed a feasibility study that included consultations with the public, First Nations, local and regional governments and stakeholder groups. While the feasibility study determined a national park reserve was feasible and there was some support, it is also recognized there was a large contingent of people opposed to the initiative.
As with other national protected area intitiative involving Crown lands, the Province considers local and regional government, First Nation, stakeholder and public support as critical towards supporting the transfer of lands and eventual designation for federal protected area purposes. In this case, the Province is not convinced there is enough local support to move forward with the proposal at this time.”
The letter was issued to other stakeholder groups who had interests in the national park proposal.