Provincial park users may feel the sting

Anyone who visits Shuswap Lake Provincial or Roderick Haig-Brown provincial parks in the coming year

Anyone who visits Shuswap Lake Provincial or Roderick Haig-Brown provincial parks in the coming year, will need to provide their own mosquito protection.

B.C.’s Ministry of Environment has denied a request by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to conduct a mosquito control program within the parks.

Last June, the CSRD board sent the written request to the Environment Minister Mary Polak. A letter from the ministry in August advised that BC Parks had participated in this program because the West Nile Virus was a concern but, as this issue is no longer considered a threat, the province cannot issue a “letter of permission” for this type of activity.

“The letter did suggest CSRD could apply for a Park Use Permit, which MOE would review against its conservation policies,” said CSRD environmental team leader Ben Van Nostrand in his report to the board.

So last fall, CSRD applied for the required Park Use Permit in order to carry out the mosquito control program, but was told that “nuisance mosquito control at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park and Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park is not necessary, nor is it supported through BC Parks’ policy.”

“As a result, the CSRD intends to log and forward any public complaints regarding nuisance mosquitoes in and around Shuswap Lake Provincial Park and Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park to BC Parks officials,” said Van Nostrand. “CSRD staff will remain open to providing nuisance mosquito control services in the parks should the policy direction of BC Parks change.”

The CSRD hires contractors to provide nuisance mosquito control within the Scotch Creek-Lee Creek fire suppression area, as well as the Town of Golden, Electoral Area A Rural Golden, the town of Revelstoke and Electoral Area B Rural Revelstoke.

 

Salmon Arm Observer