TLC LAUNCHES FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN TO SAVE
NATIONALLY-ACCLAIMED CLIMBING AREA
PENTICTON, BC – TLC The Land Conservancy announced today that it has negotiated temporary public access at the Skaha Bluffs, and is launching a fundraising campaign to purchase a nearby property with the intention of offering a permanent solution, protecting the Bluffs forever for everyone.
“Hugh Dunlop has graciously agreed to provide short-term access across his property to the Bluffs for the 2007 climbing season,” says Bill Turner, TLC Executive Director. “Mr. Dunlop will open his facilities effective March 16 as he has done in previous years. This is a great day for the climbers and wildlife enthusiasts, but we still have a lot of work to do to address permanent access to this spectacular site.”
TLC has secured an option to purchase 750 acres of private land beside the Bluffs (known as SubLot 18 by the end of April 2007. Thanks to TLC’s partners and a generous donation by the current property owner, a significant amount of monies are secured, but to complete the deal TLC needs to raise million from concerned citizens, community organizations, private donors, and corporations. Once protected, TLC with their partners will be able to grant permanent access to the Bluffs for climbers, tourists and families in 2008.
Every year thousands of people from across Canada and the United States travel to the Bluffs in Penticton to climb the gneiss rock faces, hike the desert-like grasslands, and admire the wildlife and picturesque scenery.
Located in the South Okanagan-Lower Similkameen area – one of Canada’s four most endangered ecosystems – the Bluffs are believed to be among the oldest rocks in BC. Over the centuries, the Bluffs have been weathered and ground-down, re-compressed and covered with solid ridges and deep ravines making them excellent conditions for rock climbing.
These same nooks and crannies mixed with the dry climate have also made the Bluffs ideal habitat for species at risk such as the California Bighorn Sheep, Pallid Bat, and Desert Night Snake. The Bluffs and the surrounding grassland, forest and wetland are vital to wildlife diversity as a source of water, food, shelter, nesting habitat and as movement corridors.
“The Bluffs are a unique recreational landmark in the Okanagan as well as in Canada. The surrounding region is vital habitat for species at risk. It only made sense for us to get involved because both these issues are closely connected to our mandate,” says Anne Armstrong, TLC Regional Manager in Penticton. “We are calling on everyone who has visited the Bluffs to contribute to saving this valuable site. We are also calling on everyone who has been moved by the beauty of natural areas in BC to donate now.”
TLC needs the support of local residents, private donors, and corporations to make this dream a reality. All donations are tax deductible. Donations for the Skaha Bluffs can be made at 1-877-485-2422 or online at http://www.conservancy.bc.ca.
For further information:
Bill Turner, TLC Executive Director: cell (250) 213-1090, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Armstrong, TLC Okanagan Regional Manager: office (250) 488-0724, email@example.com