The Okanogan Highlands is home to a great diversity of plant and animal life, including sensitive, threatened and endangered species that rely on the unique ecosystems in order to survive. The highland’s complex geologic history gave rise to an unusual blend of topography and habitat, wetland spruce forests, graceful aspen stands, rich riparian corridors, and rugged shrub-steppe areas fragrant with sagebrush and yarrow. The highlands continue to be a favorite place for all types of outdoor recreation.
The underground gold mine on Buckhorn Mountain necessitates mitigation projects to offset the impact of the gold mine. Wetland and stream restoration is critical, particularly because of the dewatering taking place at the underground mine site. The April 2008 agreement between OHA and Crown/Kinross details mitigation requirements for the companies and enables OHA to implement additional mitigation projects in the Okanogan Highlands.