Okanagan Desert

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The so-called Nk'mip Desert, on the east side of Osoyoos, is actually shrub steppe and not desert.

The Okanagan Desert is the common name for a semi-arid area located in the South Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada, primarily around Osoyoos Lake.[verification needed] Part of the area is called the Nk'mip Desert by the Osoyoos Indian Band, though the entire region, like other similar parts of the British Columbia Interior, is technically only semi-arid shrub-steppe.

While some areas in British Columbia are more arid, the South Okanagan area contains several species of plants that are not found elsewhere in Canada.[1] It is the presence of these specific plants in the Antelope-brush ecosystem that is claimed to make the area unique from other semi-desert areas in British Columbia.[verification needed] Some of the land has been converted to irrigated vineyard.

The Osoyoos Band runs the Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre as part of its resort and winery complex, which is located on the east side of Osoyoos, while the Osoyoos Desert Society maintains a 67 acre nature interpretive facility 3 km north of Osoyoos off Highway 97.


The region was the subject of a 1999 National Film Board of Canada documentary Pocket Desert - Confessions of a Snake Killer.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dyer, Orville. 2002. List of Species at Risk: South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Program Study Area updated to May, 2002. Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, Penticton, British Columbia.
  2. ^ "Pocket Desert - Confessions of a Snake Killer" (Requires Adobe Flash). NFB.ca. National Film Board of Canada. 
  3. ^ Hamilton, Donald (January 19, 2001). "Pocket Desert: Confessions of a Snake Killer". Canadian Materials (Manitoba Library Association) VII (10). Retrieved 21 April 2011. 

External links[edit]