Principles for SustainabilitySiwash Lake Ranch abides by and embraces the following principles for sustainability as sanctioned by the International Ecotourism Society:
- minimize impact
- build environmental and cultural awareness and respect
- provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
- provide direct financial benefits for conservation
- provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people
- raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climate
This BC luxury ranch has garnered Five Green Keys with the Hotel Association of Canada, an eco-rating that is awarded to a hotel that exemplifies the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility throughout all areas of operations.
As well, Siwash was nominated in 2009 and 2010 for a Tourism Industry Award for being BC’s most environmentally responsible operation.
The ranch employs cutting edge technologies, policies and programs which set the international standard for sustainable adventure travel operations. Other awards and achievenments include a Gold Award with Green Tourism Canada, being a global finalist in the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards, and being named among the top five eco-friendly luxury destinations in the country by the Globe & Mail, Canada's leading newspaper.
Siwash is located completely off the grid and uses clean renewable energy. A solar PV array produces the majority of electricity for the entire operation, while every other aspect of the ranch has been designed or is currently undergoing a retro-fit to be eco-friendly.
Promoting harmony with nature is paramount. With a commitment to conservation, the ranch has completed a project in concert with Ducks Unlimited Canada to enhance delicate wetlands surrounding Siwash Lake.
Further land stewardship initiatives in this realm are ongoing. Many endangered and threatened species of animals and plants make their home in the wilds surrounding Siwash. The ranch acts as den mother to all these creatures, guarding their precious habitat from excessive logging, mining and any backcountry land use that fails to demonstrate environmental responsibility (i.e. riding motorized recreation vehicles instead of horse riding and without best practices).
Ranch policies and procedures ensure the overall footprint of the operation is minimal. According to their mission statement, the owners practice sound land stewardship principles while training staff and contractors to follow suit. In turn, they pass on this knowledge and motivate visitors at the ranch, encouraging guests to practice these principles at home following their holidays.
Reaching out to people and sharing in this regard begins with the ranch’s remote community, which encompasses the ranch family, their guests, staff and neighbours from surrounding areas, and extends to affiliations that are provincial, national and international in nature, via travel media, suppliers, associate dude ranches, and other industry partners.
In addition to daily best practices, the ranch currently has a variety of programs in place that advocate sustainability. These include staff seminars and support, guest orientation and eco-focused components of guest vacations, mentoring, and professional consulting services. Another SLR initiative to promote environmentally responsible living in Canadian wilderness regions involves an on site project that is supported by the provincial Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development, partially funded by the British Columbia ICE Fund, called Demonstration and Deployment of Clean Energy Technologies in Remote BC.