Working together to Keep Nature in our Future.

South Okanagan-Similkameen
Conservation Program

Agriculture: publications and resources

The following web links offer manuals, brochures and information from government agencies and conservation organization web sites.

Sustainable agriculture assessment tools

Environmental Farm Plan
The BC Environmental Farm Plan  (EFP) is a partnership between Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, the BC Ministry of Agriculture,  and the BC Agriculture Research and Development Corporation. It is a voluntary risk-based audit and planning process and is designed to help producers identify areas where environmental improvements should occur on a farm or ranch. The program is intended for all types and scales of farms and ranches. Local advisors provide assistance. Planning for Biodiversity: A Guide for B.C. Farmers and Ranchers is an EFP program to improving biodiversity values on agricultural properties.  The guide outlines the relationship between good agricultural practices and biodiversity, includes a Biodiversity Assessment Tool, and Beneficial Management Practices for farmers and ranchers.

Sustainable Practices for BC Vineyards
The BC Wine Grape Council offers a comprehensive guidebook and self-assessment checklist for developing sustainable practices for BC vineyards and wineries. The BC Sustainable Winegrowing Program aims to foster grape and wine production that enhances environmental quality and the resource base on which the industry depends. Chapters include Ecosystem Management, Soil Management, Pest Management, and Water Management.

Grassland Stewardship

Grasslands: More Than Just Grass! : a two page brochure by South Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Program (SOS Stewardship Program)

Grassland Monitoring Manual: A Tool for Ranchers
The Grassland Monitoring Project’s primary purpose is to create a Grassland Monitoring Manual to aid ranchers in assessing the condition and trend of their grassland ranges.

BC Grasslands Stewardship Guide: a 24 page guide for ranchers and recreation users.

Understanding Grasslands: Grasslands Conservation Council’s educational site full of useful information on BC’s grassland ecosystems and the species that inhabit them.

Biodiversity Ranches: The objectives of biodiversity ranches are to protect and restore riparian areas, establish short-term grazing rotation and other conservation practices on Crown range tenures, and to promote scientific research. The primary goal of the biodiversity ranch conservation program is to maintain and restore the grassland ecosystem and associated habitats.

Caring for watercourses, wetlands and watersheds

The Value of Riparian Habitat and How to Care for it: a six page brochure from the SOS Stewardship Society.

Watershed Stewardship, a guide for agriculture.

Wetland Ways: Interim Guidelines for Wetland Protection and Conservation in BC:  a series of guidelines and best practices for wetland conservation, including a chapter on agriculture and wetlands.

Agricultural Watercourse Maintenance: Ministry of Agriculture guides for ditch and drainage management.

It Ain’t Easy Being Green – Okanagan Amphibians at Risk: identification guide and tips for agricultural land owners on how to help local amphibians.

Field Guide to Wetland and Riparian Species at Risk of the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys: 58 page field guide by The Land Conservancy and SOS Stewardship Program.

Wildlife Management

How to Build Fences With Wildlife in Mind. A landowners and ranchers guide to wildlife friendly fences (not appropriate for orchards & vineyards). Publication of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

SOS Bears and Agriculture – Fast Facts July08. Recommendations for managing bear occurances on agricultural properties.

Bears on your Property – English, Bears on your Property_Punjabi: English & Punjabi language pamphlets on bear management for agricultural properties.

Snake snake safety and management guides
Snake Smart, 6 page brochure on snake identification and management.
Working in Snake Country
Creating Surrogate Habitat for Snakes in Agricultural Settings
Snake Barrier Fencing, for properties where rattlesnakes are encountered frequently.
Snake Smart – English, Snake Smart – French, Snake Smart – Punjabi, Snake Smart – Spanish: two page rattlesnake identification and safety pamphlets.

California Big Horn Sheep: two page brochure on farm management near native sheep habitat, ensuring that wild animals do not come into contact with domestic sheep and other farm animals.

A Landowner’s Guide to Coexisting with Beavers.

Pocket Gophers, their ecology and management.

Species at Risk on agricultural land

Species and Ecosystems at Risk Brochures – Ministry of Environment

The vision of SOSCP is to maintain a healthy environment that sustains the diversity of indigenous plants and animals while enriching people’s lives. The six broad strategic objectives that guide SOSCP activities are:

SOSCP recognizes that decisions, policies and practices are important to ecological conservation and works to provide the tools and guidance needed to make sustainable planning choices.

Sustainable Land Use Planning

Supporting the acquisition of key habitats includes purchases, covenants or donations of private land, often in conjunction with enhanced protection of Crown lands. Securement activities include restoration, care, and management of these important areas.

Securing Key Habitats

SOSCP promotes stewardship activities and encourages landowners to protect biodiversity, enhance habitat for plants and wildlife, and manage lands sustainably.

Enhancing Stewardship on Public and Private Land

Involving communities in conservation is essential. SOSCP support professional development workshops, school programs, festivals and outdoor seminars that foster a love and understanding of our natural environment.

Expanding Community Involvement

SOSCP is committed to using a science-based approach to guide actions and decision-making, and to promote and facilitate further scientific research for species and ecosystems at risk.

Applying a Science-Based Approach

The En'owkin Centre continues its work to recover, revitalize and perpetuate Syilx Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) so it can be applied throughout traditional Syilx territory.

Applying Traditional Ecological Knowledge

South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program