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 upland ecosystems in order to survive. The complex geologic history of the highlands leaves us with an unusual blend of topography and habitat, creating mature 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 hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation.
With the implementation of an underground gold mine on Buckhorn Mountain comes the responsibility of environmental stewardship, including 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 requires the mine to proceed with additional stream augmentation and enables OHA to implement additional mitigation projects in the Okanogan Highlands. Kinross Gold currently has mitigation projects on Toroda, Nicholson, Marias, and Myers Creeks; OHA is involved in restoring and stewarding two of these sites in the Myers Creek subwatershed, the Myers Creek Mitigation Site and the Pine Chee Mitigation Site. OHA also has its own restoration and preservation wetland project on the south end of Lost Lake. In addition, OHA is collaborating with the Triple Creek Landowners, Trout Unlimited (TU), and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to implement a floodplain and water quality restoration project at Triple Creek, through close coordination with the WA State Department of Ecology and WA Department of Fish & Wildlife.
OHA is dedicated to protecting, restoring and preserving the biodiversity of our local highlands. We work toward this end with the following projects…