South Okanagan Conservation Fund

About the fund

The South Okanagan Similkameen is biologically, a unique area of Canada. The RDOS has the second highest number of species at risk of any other Regional District in BC as well as the highest proportion of sensitive ecosystems.

Natural lands in both rural and urban areas filter our water, supply open spaces for wildlife and people, and provide quality of life to communities.  Unfortunately, these systems are under stress. The current generation must take action now to ensure a healthy physical environment for future generations.

The purpose of the Fund is to provide local financial support for projects that will contribute to the conservation of our valuable natural areas; one step towards restoring and preserving a healthy environment. The intent is to provide funding for conservation projects that are not the existing responsibility of the federal, provincial or local governments.

A Technical Advisory Committee with appointed members provides expertise in the review and recommendation of projects and recipients of funds, and RDOS has contracted administrative management support for the Fund.

The RDOS is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the Fund and retains the responsibility for approval of all matters related thereto, including projects, payments, and financial audits of the Fund. All aspects of the Fund are guided by a Terms of Reference.

Visit the South Okanagan Conservation Fund website to learn more about the Fund, and the projects supported by this program.


Now Accepting Applications

The South Okanagan Conservation Fund is now accepting applications from eligible organizations to support conservation projects. 

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) observed National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30, 2021.

This is a national day to commemorate the history and ongoing trauma caused by residential schools and to honour those who were lost and the survivors, families and communities who continue to grieve. It is to ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

In observing this day, it is an opportunity to consider what each of us can do as individuals to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and recommit to understanding the truth of our shared history, to accept and learn from it and in doing so, help to create a better country, and a more inclusive British Columbia.

In recognition of this day – the deadline for SOCF proposals were extended to 4:30 pm October 1, 2021.


Technical Advisory Committee

Applications to serve as volunteer members for the South Okanagan Conservation Fund Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) are now closed.

The South Okanagan Conservation Fund is in support of undertaking and administering activities, projects and works that include, but are not limited to, water, environment, wildlife, land and habitat conservation efforts to protect natural areas within participating areas of the South Okanagan which includes Electoral Areas A, C, D, E and F of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, along with the District of Summerland, Town of Oliver and City of Penticton.

Committee members will be appointed by the RDOS Board of Directors, based on qualifications, expertise and experience.  The TAC's role is to provide sound, expert, technical review of annual project proposals and provide recommendation to the RDOS.  The TAC is not a decision making body.

Candidates for membership must possess expertise in the following areas:

  • Management, restoration and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat, including sensitive terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems;
  • Native fish and wildlife conservation including species at risk;
  • Land and natural resource management, environmental studies, environmental science, hydrology, hydrobiology, ecology, or conservation biology.

Propspective committee members will have the following qualifications:

  • Practical knowledge of and experience in the specific technical areas;
  • Understanding of conservation practices and approaches including stewardship, outreach, traditional ecological knowledge, acquisitions and securement;
  • Practical knowledge of the non-profit and society sector;
  • Strong ethical standards and personal integrity;
  • Ability and willingness to address issues in a non-partisan manner, while considering the opinion of others and working as a team member;
  • Comforts with open dialogue and agreement through consensus;
  • Willingness to sign, and adhere to the Conflict of Interest Guidelines and Confidentiality agreement;
  • Willingness and ability to attend and participate actively in Committee meetings and/or field tours.


Technical Advisory Committee members may serve a maximum of three years, with some members serving one or two year terms to ensure membership continuity.

If you are interested in serving on this committee, please submit your resume to:

  • Christy Malden, Manager of Legislative Services
    101 Martin Street
    Penticton, BC V2A 5J9

    Direct line: 250.490.4146
For more information, check out the South Okanagan Conservation Fund Terms of Reference, including the TAC Terms of Reference and the Conflict of Interest Guidelines, or visit the South Okanagan Conservation Fund website.


In December 2016, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS), with public assent, adopted Bylaw #2690 to establish an Environmental Conservation Service for the Electoral Areas A, C, D, E, F, and I, the City of Penticton, District of Summerland, and the Town of Oliver (collectively referred to as “the participating areas”).

The Environmental Conservation Service is also known as the “South Okanagan Conservation Fund” or “the Fund”.

Under this Bylaw, the annual maximum amount to be requisitioned for the cost of the service was not to exceed the greater of $450,000 or $0.0292 per thousand dollars of net taxable value of land and improvements in the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.

These funds are in support of undertaking and administering activities, projects, and works that include, but are not limited to, water, environment, wildlife, land and habitat conservation efforts to protect natural areas within the participating areas of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.