Silvopasture Pilot Project

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Regional District of Central Okanagan

Project Description:

A source water assessment identified certain aspects of range management in the Oyama and Vernon Creek community watershed where livestock were at high risk to impact water quality. These concerns lead to the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) implementing a silvopasture pilot project as a management approach for reducing seasonal cattle use of watershed riparian areas. A multi-stakeholder advisory committee was formed and sites were identified. With the locations chosen, a site-specific riparian monitoring plan was developed and pre-treatment assessments of riparian health and plant community were conducted. Several monitoring and sampling approaches were applied, including GPS collars to track livestock use of both riparian and upland habitats. To raise awareness of silvopasture and water quality management, various forms of outreach were utilized, such as stakeholder meetings and a workshop. With the potential of this agro-forestry system to be applied valley wide, the continued work on this project beyond Phase 1 may prove that the silvopasture approach can improve watershed stewardship without eliminating resource management opportunities for the cattle and forest industries.

This Project was awarded a Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Award in 2103.

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