The mosquito control program operated by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) in the North Shuswap is being halted after a decision by BC Parks and the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band (LSLIB) rendered it ineffective.
The regional district had previously treated an area of LSLIB land in the Hillam Road area for nuisance mosquitoes, but the band is now refusing to allow the treatment to continue. The decision from LSLIB came on the heels of one from BC Parks halting spraying for mosquito larvae in the Shuswap Lake and Tsútswecw parks. The CSRD’s mosquito control contractor recommended the program be abandoned if an agreement for the spraying of these areas could not be reached.
In light of the LSLIB decision, a CSRD board resolution made in August to appeal the BC Parks decision is no longer being pursued. A release from the CSRD states BC Parks’ decision to refuse the permit was largely due to concerns expressed by the band.
According to the CSRD, the mosquito control program costs approximately $35,000 per year.
“This year we got lucky with low water, but if we have a high-water year, it can be unbearable in Scotch Creek,” says Jay Simpson, Electoral Area F Director. “I’m not happy about this, but I don’t see another option right now.”
Board chair Rhona Martin stated that if citizens of Scotch Creek and Lee Creek are unhappy with the decision, they should contact LSLIB or BC Parks.
The board voted to suspend the program for the upcoming season only with an update from CSRD staff on the issue planned for the fall of 2020 to determine the program’s future for 2021 and beyond.