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.

Shrub-steppe species[edit]

While some areas in British Columbia are more arid, the South Okanagan shrub-steppe 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.[2] Over the early 21st Century, a considerable portion of the valley agricultural land has been converted to irrigated vineyards.[3]

Organizations in desert[edit]

There are multiple groups/organizations of people located in the Okanagan Desert. The Osoyoos Band, a First Nations government located in British Columbia, runs the Nk'Mip Desert Cultural Centre as part of its resort and winery complex, which is located on the east side of Osoyoos. The Osoyoos Desert Society, a non-profit society founded in 1991, maintains the Osoyoos Desert Centre, a 67-acre nature interpretive facility 3 km (2 mi) 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.[4][5]

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. ^ "Spaces and species: South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Project". Penticton, BC: South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program. 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  3. ^ "Regions: wine is geography". Kelowna, BC: British Columbia Wine Institute. 2016. Retrieved 24 November 2016. 
  4. ^ "Pocket Desert - Confessions of a Snake Killer" (SWF). NFB.ca. National Film Board of Canada. 
  5. ^ 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]

Coordinates: 49°03′07″N 119°29′56″W / 49.052°N 119.499°W / 49.052; -119.499