OKANAGAN (NEWS1130) – If you’re heading to the southern Okanagan over the long weekend, you might see the signs along Highway 3, signs that simply read “No national park.”

It’s a small indication that a long-standing fight over a proposed national park is far from over, despite the fact the province has already dropped its support.

“It’s not a dead issue,” says Chloe O’Loughlin with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. “There will be a national park established there at some time.”

She says the mayors of Princeton, Oliver and Osoyoos are clamouring for the park, hoping to see the tourists and the jobs it would create.

She strongly believes the landscape deserves to be protected.

“The grasslands and the dry pocket deserts in the Okanagan are unique in Canada, and rapidly that land is being sold for vineyards and suburbs,” she notes.

She says the south Okanagan contains Canada’s most vulnerable animals.

“There are things that we don’t normally think of endangered species like snakes, toads, birds, badgers and burrowing owls, the animals you find in grasslands.”

But hunters and ranchers were highly critical of the plan, which was first launched nearly ten years ago.

The park would be situated between Osoyoos and Keremeos.