BC Provincial Government needs to Stop Development of Sickle Point in the South Okanagan

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We need your help to SAVE SICKLE POINT.

Sickle Point is the last undeveloped wetland habitat on Skaha Lake, 10 km south of Penticton in Kaleden British Columbia (BC). It is adjacent to the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, in the South Okanagan wine region of Canada. 

To date, no action has been taken by the government.  We need them to intervene and place an immediate stop to any future development at Sickle Point, and protect this sensitive habitat in perpetuity, before it is sold to a developer and lost forever.

Much like our kidneys, wetlands help filter sediment and toxins out of our lakes, rivers and streams. Without wetlands, we would no longer have a ready supply of fresh drinking water. Plants and animals living in a marsh break down sewage and many chemicals, leaving clean soil and water behind.

Wetlands act like giant sponges. They store water from snow and rainfall, then let it out when things get dry. As a result, wetlands help reduce floods and ease the worst effects of drought. Ponds and marshes reduce the risk of erosion during rainy times, and help keep soil moist during dry times.

Sickle Point has high ecological values and has been recognized as having the highest conservation ranking by the South Okanagan Similkameen Biodiversity Conversation Strategy.

Rare plant communities and species and the marsh area are a critical habitat for aquatic and terrestrial plant species. The water birch and wild rose communities, which support endangered wildlife such as the Yellow-breasted Chat, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Western Rattlesnake and Pallid Bat, are red-listed by the province. Sickle Point is also part of the migratory path for both resident and migrant wildlife. Many birds that are protected by the Canada US Migratory Bird Treaty nest at, and/or frequent, Sickle Point.  These include but are not limited to the American White Pelican, Sandhill Crane, Bullock’s Oriole, Red-necked Grebe, and numerous other migratory species.

Sickle Point is culturally important and has been used by the people of snpink'tn, Syilx Nation, for hundreds of generations. The place name for Sickle Point in the nsyilxcen language is: ncaquq?wltn which means a place to land or park a canoe. The people of snpink'tn have been opposed to development at ncaquq?iwltn since time immemorial. 

The KVR is the only road access to the property, meaning vehicles would unfortunately be on the KVR along with bikers and walkers. Any vehicle traffic would disrupt the breeding habitat, contribute to the introduction of noxious weeds and negatively affect the serenity, enjoyment and safety of others using the trail. 

Our concerns are urgent because the property has gone into foreclosure, is up for sale and developers are expressing interest. 

The province of British Columbia and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development need to intervene and place an immediate stop to any future development at Sickle Point, and protect this sensitive habitat in perpetuity, before it is lost forever.

To date, no action has been taken by the government. 

Thank you for signing this petition and letting the provincial government know you support conserving Sickle Point.