The Columbia Shuswap Regional District will be appealing a decision by BC Parks to deny an application for mosquito control in two North Shuswap provincial parks.
As of a notice received July 11, no mosquito control spraying is to be allowed in Tsútswecw Provincial Park and Shuswap Lake Provincial Park. BC Parks’ report on the matter concludes nuisance mosquito control is not necessary for the preservation or maintenance of the recreational value of either park. Another part of their rationale was that nuisance mosquito control could negatively affect the parks’ ecosystems.
At the CSRD’s Aug. 15 board meeting, Electoral Area F Director Jay Simpson moved that the CSRD board appeal BC Parks’ decision. Simpson noted that Shuswap Lake Provincial Park is already heavily developed with paved paths and campgrounds, with little undisturbed ecosystem left. Simpson’s motion was supported by the board. Simpson noted that 2019 has not been a bad year for mosquitoes as water levels have been low; higher water levels could bring a more serious mosquito nuisance.
Also discussed during the board meeting were concerns raised by Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band management about mosquito treatment on band lands in the Hillam Road area. A CSRD staff report states that the band council has provided support for the program to date. The regional district plans to seek confirmation of the band’s support before deciding the future of the North Shuswap mosquito control program.
CSRD staff note that without spraying on Hillam Road or in the provincial parks, mosquito control in Area F would be ineffective and would likely be abandoned.