Bob Handfield

NATURE WISE: Many species are unique to the Okanagan Valley

The Okanagan Valley is considered by many to be unique in Canada, and in some ways it is.

NATURE WISE: ‘Tis the season to support conservation with a little shopping

Solve some of your gift buying problems and help the environment without even leaving home.

NATURE WISE: Bees, barrels and salmon bear bad news

Briefly touching on a number of issues that have been in the news (sometimes buried) and could easily have escaped your notice.

Vanishing bees threaten food supply

U.S. authorities estimate that about 31 per cent of all U.S. honey bee hives ceased functioning during the year 2012

Starlings known as ‘rats of the sky’

The loss to growers from starlings is estimated at about $4 million per year for the Okanagan-Similkameen

Raptors warm to Okanagan winters

Eleven different species of birds of prey were seen during the Christmas bird count in Penticton

Snowy owls land in Okanagan

There have been reports of at least four snowy owls in the central and south Okanagan

Nature provides artistic inspiration

The South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club is co-sponsoring with the Penticton Museum a juried art show

Groups play major role in protecting natural habitat

Nov. 3 dinner will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ducks Unlimited Canada's Penticton chapter

NATURE WISE: Learn the costs of alien species growing in the RDOS

Is the B.C. government taking invasive species seriously enough?

Regional district should do more on environment

There seems to be a disconnect between what residents want and what the local politicians are delivering

Bird populations a reflection on environment

Canada's bird populations have seen a significant decline in recent years, especially insectivores that eat flying bugs

Legislation aims to fix what isn’t broken

No matter how draconian our laws, the oil companies would still be lined up waiting to extract our resources

Birds signal the return of spring

The first rufous hummingbirds were reported in Oliver on April 12

Wind power carries some environmental cost

Wind farms proposed for near Summerland could pose a threat to bird and bat populations

A last-minute gift guide for naturalists

Some items Okanagan nature lovers would love to find under the tree this Christmas

Weeding out the facts on invasive species

Numerous species of invasive animals are making their home in the South Okanagan

Shaping the political environment

Next month brings an event that is extremely important in many respects and yet is ignored by a large portion of RDOS residents. I refer of course to the municipal elections. Many issues that affect the quality of our everyday life are determined at the local level, and even those which are ultimately decided by provincial officials can often be influenced by pressure from the local level. I think it is very important that we all participate in choosing our local leaders.

Conservation efforts on course

Members of the South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club are assisting the Penticton Golf & Country Club in its quest to achieve certification under the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for golf courses which recognizes golf courses that “protect the environment, conserve natural resources and provide wildlife habitats.”

Studies show need for cat control bylaw

It is generally accepted that society has the right to enact laws and bylaws that may infringe on some individual rights but are for the greater good. Such laws range from the requirement to be licensed and insured before driving a motor vehicle to the control of dogs. It seems to me that it is not unreasonable to insist that animal control laws such as apply to dogs should also apply to cats. There are sound reasons, backed by scientific studies, that support the licensing and control of cats.