Dedicated to preserving the North Okanagan natural spaces for generations to come.
To promote the preservation, conservation, enhancement, or fostering of ecologically valuable lands. Including nature or wildlife sanctuaries, parks or reserves.
Why? In the past century, the Southwest Interior has lost 70% of natural grasslands and 85% of natural wetlands. Habitat loss throughout the Okanagan is continuing to increase at an alarming rate.
How? Through a conservation covenant or a donation of land to the land trust. NCNO helps landowners place a legal covenant on their property by entering into a Conservation Covenant Agreement with the landowner which is then registered on the land title.
What Can You Do?
The North Okanagan has many natural features – hillsides, ponds, grasslands, and creeks – which are at risk from rapid growth and development in the area.
If you are considering the preservation of part or all of your property, NCNO may be able to help. NCNO is also registered to hold and administer Covenants on privately-owned lands. These Covenants can control access to the lands and preserve them in their natural state in perpetuity.
The Nature Conservancy of the North Okanagan Society (NCNO), previously named North Okanagan Parks and Natural Areas Trust (NOPNAT), was established in 2000 as a registered charity to receive donations and bequests of every kind, including properties and monies. The official name change to Nature Conservancy of the North Okanagan Society (NCNO) occurred in 2019 with the intent to simplify the vision of the society.
NCNO is also registered to hold and administer Covenants on lands. These Covenants can control access to the lands and preserve them in their natural state in perpetuity.
The board meets 9 times per year – if you have interest in becoming part of this organisation please contact us.
- Vice President – Al McNiven
- Secretary – Marnie Williamson
- Treasurer – Bill Wagner
- Director – John Ensing
- Director – Clare Kooistra
- Director – Andrew Miller
Many landowners are concerned about the rapid development and urbanization of the area surrounding their property. While these landowners take great care and pride in stewarding the land which they hold, some have concerns as to what could happen to the environmental values in the future.
A conservation covenant is a legal agreement made between the landowner and the designated Land Trust Organization, in this case, NCNO, to preserve and protect natural features of all or part of a property in perpetuity. The covenant is registered on the property title to bind current and future owners of the property to the terms of the covenant. Normally a covenant is designed to protect the ecological values of the property. The covenant restricts the use or development of the property that would damage the natural features of the covenant area. The landowner retains ownership of the property and retains all other rights of ownership.
A covenant may apply to all or a portion of the property allowing the remaining portion of the land to be used for other purposes.
A covenant agreement may be worded to achieve the desires of the landowner, to protect the significant natural features and ecological values for the future. Together we will work on a covenant document ensuring our mutual needs are addressed.
Covenants are monitored annually by the society to document the condition of the property and ensure the terms of the covenant are being respected. This involves an onsite inspection, documentary photographs, and annual report.
Please contact us if you are interested in a conservation covenant. The society will provide further information on covenants including an overview of costs.
Anne Tchvyl Conservation Covenant
The Anne Tchvyl Conservation Covenant is located along Coldstream Creek in the District of Coldstream. The conservation area was registered on February 23, 2016, and is jointly held by the Regional District of North Okanagan and the North Okanagan Parks & Natural Area Trust.
The covenant is 1.64 ha in size and includes a well-vegetated riparian area, which transitions upslope to a level, cleared area. It is one of the few corridors along the creek with a thriving cottonwood ecosystem, including black cottonwoods, Douglas maple, Norway maple, and paper birch. A species considered at risk, the western screech owl, as well as a nesting site for the owl have been observed near the protected area. Numerous other birds including a great blue heron, another species at risk, small mammals and large mammals make use of the protected area for food, shelter and as a breeding ground. Dryer upland areas of the covenant support grasslands, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir communities and wetter areas along the creek support stands of western red cedar. The covenant is adjacent to agricultural land.
The covenant is named in memory of the donor’s mother. It is located on private land and is not open to the public.
Clerke Nature Reserve
The Clerke Nature Reserve is at 3497 Alexis Park Drive in Vernon. It was donated to the Regional District of the Okanagan by Kenneth May and the late Kathleen May (née Clerke), a member of a prominent Vernon family, and is to be maintained in its natural state for the enjoyment of residents of the North Okanagan and visitors. It was dedicated at a public ceremony on October 8, 2004.
The Regional District granted a covenant to the North Okanagan Parks & Natural Areas Trust to monitor the condition and use of the land and ensure that that it remains in its natural state. It is on a steep west-facing slope with rock outcroppings that contain native plants and some shrubs and trees. This one-acre parcel provides a natural green space in the middle of Vernon. It is to the west of Becker Park and can be accessed off Alexis Park Drive and 36th Avenue.
In January 2014 under a reorganization of parks within the Regional District, ownership of the land transferred to the City of Vernon, with the terms of the conservation covenant remaining unchanged.
Windfalls Nature Conservancy
The Windfalls Nature Conservancy is approximately 17 km northeast of Lumby. Situated on the east shore of the Shuswap River near the confluence of Bessette Creek, this conservancy was registered August 11, 2009, and is held in covenant jointly by The Land Conservancy of BC and North Okanagan Parks & Natural Areas Trust.
This covenant property is 4.96 ha in size and falls within the Southern Interior Mountains Ecoprovince of the Interior Douglas Fir biogeoclimatic zone. The covenant land is relatively level but rises to a small knoll in the northwest quadrant. Tree species include second-growth Douglas fir, western red cedar, white pine, western hemlock, spruce, and birch. The shrub layer includes Douglas maple, red osier dogwood, snowberry, hazelnut, chokecherry, ocean spray, and Oregon grape. The western screech owl is known to use the property, as are ruffed grouse, deer, moose, and black bear. Historic skidder trails are present.
The covenant is located on privately-owned land and is not open to the public.
Woodland Haven Bird Sanctuary
The Woodland Haven Bird Sanctuary was dedicated by the late Bernice Morland, a long time resident. It is to be maintained in its natural state in perpetuity. The Sanctuary is protected by a covenant registered on August 20, 2007, and jointly held by TLC The Land Conservancy of B.C. and the North Okanagan Parks & Natural Areas Trust (NOPNAT). These two land trusts are responsible for monitoring the condition and use of the land and to ensure that it remains in its natural state.
Located in the Township of Spallumcheen, the land is a forested area of approximately one acre (0.4 hectares) in size. The land is relatively flat, has an overstory of Interior Douglas Fir and two Ponderosa Pine, an understory of snowberry, wild rose, ocean spray, Oregon grape, mock orange, and saskatoon frequented by ring-necked pheasant, California quail, owls, woodpeckers, a diversity of songbirds, and mule deer.
The covenant is located on privately-owned land and is not open to the public.
Phina Tassie Conservation Area
The Phina Tassie Conservation Area is located along the north and south banks of Coldstream Creek approximately 2 km upstream from Kalamalka Lake. Comprised of two covenants, the conservation area was registered in August of 2010 and is held jointly by The Land Conservancy of BC and North Okanagan Parks & Natural Areas Trust.
The conservation area is about 0.25 ha in size and is made up of floodplain and adjacent slopes. The overstory is dominated by trembling aspen. Manitoba, Douglas and Norway maple, wild apple, chokecherry, and ponderosa pine are also present. The understory includes red-osier dogwood, Oregon grape, barberry, violet, snowberry, nightshade, goldenrod, cinquefoil, poison ivy, and burdock. Deer and black bears are known to use this creekside woodland. The conservation area is an important natural woodland along Coldstream Creek and the adjacent orchard lands and rural holdings.
The conservation area is located on privately-owned land and is not open to the public.
Please fill out the form below, or email us directly or contact us by mail.
Email: [email protected]
Nature Conservancy of the North Okanagan Society (NCNO)
P.O. Box 265
Vernon, BC V1T 6M2