The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) will not be conducting mosquito control in the Scotch Creek area for the 2022 season.
The newly elected Chief and Council of the Little Shuswap Lake Band (LSLB) recently decided to withdraw the mosquito control program from the service agreement between the CSRD and the LSLB and will no longer allow treatment to take place on their lands in the Hilliam Road area of the Scotch Creek Indian Reserve.
The mosquito control program will not be effective in addressing the nuisance mosquito issue if the areas of significant mosquito breeding habitat on the Band lands and Shuswap Lake Provincial Park and campground are removed from the treatment program.
As a result, the CSRD is cancelling the program which would have started in the spring. The mosquito control program in Scotch Creek was previously cancelled in 2020. However, following citizen complaints and discussion with BC Parks and the previous Chief and Council, the program was reinstated in 2021.
In a letter sent to the CSRD to cancel the program, the Little Shuswap Lake Band stated the new Chief and Council are concerned there is inadequate research confirming there are no environmental risks associated with mosquito larvicide treatments.
The CSRD’s mosquito control program uses a soil-borne bacterial product that specifically targets mosquitoes in their larval growth stage before they hatch. It is widely considered to be non-toxic to fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and most other insects.
Electoral Area F Director Jay Simpson is concerned with the decision, but notes there is no point using tax dollars to pay for a program that won’t be effective.
“We are respectful of the Little Shuswap Lake Band’s decision, as they are the ones who have the authority over their lands,” says Simpson. “The CSRD and the Band are good neighbours, but even good neighbours don’t always agree on every issue that crosses over boundary lines on a map. The important thing is to keep the lines of communication open between us.”
“I am hopeful the CSRD can meet with the new Chief and Council and share information about mosquito control, as well as any other issues of mutual interest that affect the region and all the citizens who live here. Working together is the best way forward,” adds Simpson.