The western screech owl is one of the animals that lives in the large old cottonwood trees in Garnett Valley. There are fewer of the little owls than there used to be in the B.C. Interior because of loss of habitat.

Environmental information offered

Garnett Valley residents are urged to attend an information about the nature of the area.

Garnett Valley residents know they live in a special part of Summerland with a diversity of landscapes ranging from creekside habitat, meadows and small ponds, to dry Ponderosa pine forests and productive agricultural lands. The community has an important role in helping to protect these habitats and species at risk on their properties and adopting sustainable land management practices.

Landowners are encouraged to attend an information session on March 21 to learn more about the wild and rare inhabitants of the valley and what they can do to protect them.

Two Summerland biologists will be featured as speakers. Lisa Scott is organizing the event on behalf of the South Okanagan-Similkameen Stewardship Program and will speak about rare wildlife such as the western screech owl and spadefoot toad.

Aquatic biologist Dwight Shanner will introduce the various species of fish that occur in Eneas Creek, outline the legal responsibilities of living next to a creek and provide some basic guidance with respect to land management considerations.

Joe Lariviere, a local planning advisor with the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), will finish up the evening with a presentation on the EFP process and provide examples of projects relevant to the Garnett Valley.

“We hope this event is the beginning of a long-term community stewardship initiative in the Garnett Valley, with landowners coming together regularly to learn more about the valley and share ideas on ways to protect these important natural habitats,” said Scott.

The event will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Okanagan Crush Pad Winery, 16576 Fosbery Rd. Please contact Lisa Scott at 404-0115 or ecomatters@shaw.ca for more details or to register for this event. Limited seating is available, so landowners are asked to register.