Shuswap Lake


SABNES was formed in 1986, with the mandate to:
  • assist the Wildlife Branch of the provincial government with the development and operation of their management plan for the Salmon Arm foreshore as a Nature Conservancy and viewing area.
  • develop, operate and promote a system of walkways, viewing areas and interpretive facilities for scientific, educational, environmental protection and public viewing purposes.
  • promote environmental awareness and assist in projects in the Salmon Arm area.   top  home

    This 2004 discussion paper provides a strategic-level review of opportunities and challenges to promoting conservation of sensitive wetland and other habitats in the immediate vicinity of the Salmon Arm Bay foreshore, and to identify opportunities to enhance and diversify habitats or biodiversity around Salmon Arm Bay. Discussion focuses on how biodiversity values can co-exist with increased development and re-development in the Salmon Arm area.   top  home

    Salmon River

    Salmon Arm Bay, 2010

    The Salmon River Watershed project began in 1991. Considerable progress has been achieved toward long term watershed sustainability goals over the past 19 years. These successes have been largely organized around four action areas: planning, field action, monitoring and participation.

    Fraser River Action Plan
    The Salmon River Watershed Roundtable, in partnership with Environment Canada through the Fraser River Action Plan organised a workshop to support the development and selection of ecosystem health indicators. This workshop was held on March 1-2, 1997 in Falkand, B.C., drawing over 60 participants. This workshop brought together the knowledge and wisdom of people with an interest in the watershed including government, business, social agencies, First Nations, and others.   top  home

    Shuswap Environmental Action Society (SEAS) was incorporated as a non-profit society in 1989 with a mission to study environmental issues, to inform the public about environmental problems and solutions, to coordinate activities and share information with other local, provincial, and national environmental organizations, and to take actions to improve our local environment.   top  home

    The Shuswap Naturalist Club, with members in Salmon Arm and surrounding areas, is dedicated to the study, appreciation and conservation of our natural world.
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    Along with celebrating our glorious Shuswap, we must also assume greater responsibility for protecting what we are celebrating. We must avoid the mistakes that have plagued other paradises by becoming more aware of not only the values we cherish but also the threats to those values and the measures needed to avert future problems. Thankfully, our local governments are only too aware of these issues and thus there are either plans in place and planning processes underway to help ensure a sustainable future. But these plans will only succeed if there is ongoing support and dedication to implementation and the processes will only work if residents participate responsibly.   top  home

    "Salmon Hymn"  by Anie Hepher (with permission) and footage from the October 3rd Salute to the Salmon at Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park.

    aerial view
    The Shuswap Lake Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP) was launched in response to the intense pressure the surrounding area is experiencing as a result of increased development, waste water discharge and conflicting demands on recreational resources. These challenges are set against a complicated regulatory environment where public agencies from every level of government have legal jurisdiction over some aspect of the region. In early 2007, a number of government agency representatives began to explore the viability of undertaking a multi-agency strategic planning process as a means to addressing these challenges. ... [I]t will be necessary to secure long-term funding for the strategies contained within this Plan in order to realize the full potential of SLIPP. ... In addition, a governance structure that appropriately involves the capabilities and capacity of the public, First Nations, stewardship groups and elected officials, is required.   top  home
    pit house

    Mary Thomas, beloved elder of the Shuswap nation, held the vision for creating The Shuswap Centre, Knucwetwecw or "Helping One Another", for several years. Mary recognized the need to preserve and enhance the Shuswap language, culture, and to bridge understanding and co-operation between Native and non-Native people. Mary actively sought partners to work together to make The Shuswap Centre a reality. In 1996, members of the Shuswap community and other supporters created an action plan that outlined the vision, goals, and tasks that needed to be completed to create The Shuswap Centre. Gradually gaining momentum, they built on those initial steps, and with help from a recent $260,000 REDI-BC grant, haved moved forward to embrace the vision of a Dr. Mary Thomas Heritage Sanctuary.   top  home


    The DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION 's mission is to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life, now and for the future. Its vision is that within a generation, Canadians act on the understanding that we are all interconnected and interdependent with nature.

    ECOJUSTICE is a national charitable organization dedicated to defending Canadians' right to a healthy environment.

    WEST COAST ENVIRONMENTAL LAW has since 1974 successfully worked with communities, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and all levels of governments, including First Nations governments, to develop proactive legal solutions to protect and sustain the environment.   top  home


    "I used to go down there and the trees were everywhere. Now there are only a few patches. If there is one thing I want to do, it is to save what is left. ... If enough people get together as "people" we can go far together. THAT is the message I give."  
    Mary Thomas, Neskonlith Indian Band.

    The David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) has posted under the heading "Salmon Arm citizens successfully protect sensitive ecosystems from development" on their website and social networks.   top  home

    Salmon River

    Salmon River meander, autumn 2010

    "The mouth of the Salmon River where it enters Salmon Arm is part of one Terrestrial Priority Conservation Area (#25 - Salmon Arm) and two Freshwater Priority Conservation Areas (#9 - Shuswap Lake and #37 - Salmon River). These PCAs are all rated as having the highest conservation value and highest vulnerability in the Okanagan Ecoregion. ... Of 137 Terrestrial PCAs in the Okanagan Ecoregion, only 14 have these highest rankings. Of additional interest is the fact that the Terrestrial and Freshwater PCAs overlap in the area of interest. ... Areas of overlap have increased relative importance for biodiversity."   top  home

    LAUCHLAN FRASER (October 19, 2009)
    Professor and Canada Research Chair in Community and Ecosystem Ecology
    "I am aware of a proposed 400,000 sq ft SmartCentres shopping centre on a floodplain at the mouth of the Samon River ... I am adamantly opposed ... The Salmon River is an important ecosystem, providing critical spawning habitat ... and feeding habitat for fish and birds ... Floodplains provide essential ecological services. The proposed development ... would impact hydrology and nutrient dynamics ... , with the additional impact of light, noise, and air pollution and surface water contamination. Not only would this affect salmon behaviour and spawning but it might increase nutrient loading in Shuswap Lake, causing eutrophication. ..." [Full letter]

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    MARK ANGELO (Fall, 2009)
    Rivers Chair, Outdoor Recreation Council of BC.
    "I'm currently heading overseas but wanted to send you a quick note to express my support for your efforts to protect the Salmon River. Like many others, I share your concerns about the potential impacts of a massive shopping center in the midst of the Salmon River's active floodplain, an area that comprises critical salmon habitat. This same area also floods regularly, providing nutrient-rich habitat for juvenile salmon throughout the network of channels that cross the floodplain. The black cottonwood/snowberry habitat found there also has many important attributes and, aside from becoming increasingly rare, it also sustains a number of red-listed species. For all these reasons, the Salmon River found its way onto BC's endangered rivers list in 2008. I greatly appreciate the efforts of you and your colleagues to speak up for the river - and I am very supportive of your endeavours."
    All the best, Mark Angelo, CM, OBC, DSc(hc), MSc.

    top  home SR Delta from Shuswap Lake


    A workshop focused on stream restoration, design, and monitoring was coordinated by the University of New Brunswick October 4-6, 2011 in Penticton, B.C. Participants received instruction in fluvial hydrology, ecological considerations, restoration design and technical details, and aquatic monitoring and assessment, and combined lecture and guided tours of completed and monitored projects on the Okanagan River.   top  home

    A watershed is as an area of land that drains to a river, lake or stream. The Cataraqui Region is composed of 10 watersheds which eventually flow into Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The Watershed Report Card presents the results of monitoring and evaluating the health of our region's natural features. It is a snapshot of current conditions of our environment. The intent is to update this report card about every three years to show changes over time within this region.   top  home

    Comox Valley Project Watershed Society was established in 1993 by a small group of citizens concerned by declining fish stocks, water quality, and urban development in local watersheds. Currently, the organization focuses on three program areas: Sensitive Habitat Stewardship, Baynes Sound Stewardship, and Wetlandkeepers/Streamkeepers   top  home

    Visitors are drawn by the scenic beauty of a lush green valley, its lakes framed between two beautiful mountain ranges. The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area is, in itself, the most significant tourist attraction in the area. It is a source of economic benefits to the local community. An estimated 35,000 visitors pass through the Area each year, attracted by its easy accessibility, and by the opportunity to see large mammals such as elk, moose, deer, coyotes, muskrat, beaver and river otters in addition to the diverse bird species for which the Area is best known.   top  home

    These scenic trails follow Bessette and Duteau creeks, the easternmost spawning grounds of Pacific coho and chinook salmon. The trails are an ideal location to hold events such as benefit races, bird counts, community walks, and group and school outings.   top  home

    Restoration at this site in Oliver, B.C. will restore a portion of the Okanagan River to its orginal configuration and will provide critical habitat for indigenous Okanagan Basin fish and wildlife species. By restoring floodplain and replanting riparian vegetation, water quality, fish habitat and wildlife habitat will all benefit. Partners and funding contributors include DFO, BC MOE, BC MOTI, and local, regional and national non-profits.   top  home

    In 1971, the Town Council of Williams Lake began filling in the marsh to create a larger area for parking motor homes. Many citizens, on learning of this action, became concerned at the loss of this prime wildlife habitat and took steps to try to preserve it. The Scout Island Nature Centre consists of two islands, the land on both sides of the causeway at the main entrance, the causeway, the marsh and the surrounding water at the west end of Williams Lake. The Nature Centre has developed into a significant place for visitors to learn about and appreciate the natural environment, and to enjoy the recreational pursuits offered in this natural setting. It has also become an important tourist destination for people visiting Williams Lake.   top  home

    Education, recreation, conservation are the community benefits provided by Calgary's 237 hectare Weaselhead Flats Park featuring oxbow wetlands and a delta where the Elbow River flows into Glenmore Reservoir. Walking, cycling, X-C skiing and nature observation are popular activities.   top  home