Help add to a century of community science data by signing up for a count near you. - Audubon

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many countries in the Western Hemisphere go out over a 24-hour period on one calendar day to count birds. The CBC is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of community science involvement. Audubon's 119th Christmas Bird Count will be conducted between Friday, December 14, 2018, through Saturday, January 5, 2019.

When you make a gift to a conservation organization, land trust, or wildlife rehabilitation center you leave a lasting legacy. You are supporting the vital conservation work of an organization and keeping nature in our future.

This holiday season consider making a donation in honour of an important person or group of people in your life. There are many ways to give and support important conservation work; every gift is meaningful, and every dollar helps.

With the holiday season upon us, we'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our Partners, funding supporters, community members, and readers for your continued support and for helping us keep nature in our future. 

From all of us at OCCP we wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season!

2018 has truly been an excellent year filled with many local conservation success stories. We'd like to take the opportunity to share two key successes with you.

Okanagan lakes, waterways, and landscapes are a point of pride for residents and a draw for visitors, most communities are built and come together around our waterways. We need to make sure that these cherished waters and natural systems - that we rely on for drinking water, supporting recreation, and fuelling our economy - are in optimal health. With this in mind, OCCP in partnership with local governments undertook a research study of Kalamalka and Wood Lake, to understand the impact power boating is having on our lakes to ensure we keep our freshwater environments healthy and clean.

Special contribution from the Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance

If you had been down to q̓awsitkw (Okanagan River) over the month of October, you may have noticed many of the waters thick and red with sockeye salmon. These salmon are a result of the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) Skaha Sockeye Reintroduction program, which is reintroducing sc’win (Okanagan sockeye) back to their historic range, which includes t’iwcən (Skaha) Lake and kłusənitkw (Okanagan) Lakes. Since 2004, ONA has stocked t’iwcən and kłusənitkw with hatchery reared fry and monitored their growth, survival, and impacts on Kokanee populations. From 2014 forward ONA has been rearing the fry in their kł cp̓əlk stim̓ Hatchery, and this highly successful return represents the first return of these fry.

Clean, plentiful fresh water and natural landscapes are a big reason why the Okanagan is such a great place to live. However, our lake and surrounding natural areas are facing significant challenges, a few being increased usage demands, a growing population, and development around the lake. These challenges strain the sensitive lake ecosystem and have a detrimental effect on the health of our lake.