A five-hectare parcel along Keremeos Creek is now in good hands with the Southern Interior Land Trust.

A conservation agency has added five hectares near Olalla to its holdings.

The Southern Interior Land Trust announced Thursday its purchase of a mature water birch forest on Keremeos Creek, which floods seasonally.

“The property is a gem of intact streamside water birch forest, one of very few remaining in the Okanagan-Similkameen,” SILT said in a press release.

“It provides habitat for at least five federally listed species at risk, including the yellow-breasted chat, western screech owl and Lewis’s woodpecker. It is also good habitat for deer, bear, bobcat and badger that travel across the valley, and for rainbow trout in the creek.”

The site will be known as the R.E. Taylor Conservation Property, in honour of Ron Taylor of Winfield, whose dedication and commitment to wildlife conservation in B.C. has spanned more than half a century.

Taylor helped to create SILT more than 30 years ago, served as its president for many years and has been on the board of directors since the society was formed in 1988.

SILT is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit charity dedicated to conserving land for all living things. SILT works to acquire gems and jewels of wildlife habitat that act as “stepping stones” for animal movement through developed areas.

Besides individual donations, SILT also benefits from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, to which hunters, trappers, guides and anglers contribute through their licence fees.