MLA Report: We must press the government to do more to stop invasive species

B.C. government needs to keep being pressed to do more to stop invasive species from entering province, writes MLA Norm Macdonald

Across our area this summer, we saw an incredible number of visitors. It was wonderful to see so many visiting our beautiful part of the world.

But with travellers who arrive in British Columbia with watercraft, there is always the danger that they may inadvertently bring with them invasive species.

For many years, I have raised with government the particular threat raised by zebra and quagga mussels. I have seen them established in Lake Winnipeg and was struck by how quickly they take over an area.

Zebra and quagga mussels came originally from Russia and were likely brought on a ship into our Great Lakes 40 years ago. They have thrived and from there spread to many lakes and rivers including just two years ago reaching Manitoba.

These mussels encrust boats, engine parts, turbines, irrigation systems, as well as shorelines. Because of their numbers, they completely change lake ecosystems.

They can easily be transported inadvertently by boats because they can survive a surprisingly long time out of water and they multiply incredibly fast with no effective way to eradicate an infestation once it is established.

I’ve long been worried that these mussels will accidentally be brought into British Columbia. I have pushed for funding of inspection stations at our borders because with the right measures we have the ability to keep zebra and quagga mussels out of our water systems.

The government has responded in some measure. First, the government established three temporary inspection sites. Last year, a number of organizations such as the Columbia Basin Trust and BC Hydro funded more inspection crews.

This was progress, but given what is at stake for Lake Windermere, Columbia Lake, Revelstoke, or any of hundreds more water bodies here in our area, we need government to do more.

Further relatively small investments in preventing zebra and quagga mussels could save millions in the future spent to manually remove the mussels each year. Those investments could keep our lakes and rivers healthy.

I ask you to take the time to write the Premier at premier@gov.bc.ca and the Minister of Environment at env.minister@gov.bc.ca. Thank them for what they have done but press them to do more. Keep our province free of zebra and quagga mussels.

Norm Macdonald is the MLA for Columbia River–Revelstoke. He can be reached at 1-866-870-4188 or norm.macdonald.mla@leg.bc.ca.

 

Just Posted

Revelstoke doctor recognized with Rural Service Award

The award is presented by the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada

Liability found in 2010 fatal Highway 1 accident

The accident occurred east of Revelstoke early in the morning

Wayne’s World: Serving you

Wayne Stetski Member or Parliament Over the last three and a half… Continue reading

UPDATE: 25 hectares burned in yesterdays grass fire

The blaze broke out on the river flats south of Revelstoke

Alleged Penticton gunman seen ‘angrily yelling’ before opening fire, witness says

One witness said she heard three bangs, the other said the alleged shooter walked right by him

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Kelowna teen fighting for life in Vancouver hospital

A GoFundMe has been set up for KSS’s Erin Tannar

WATCH: Okanagan creator transforms into Megatron

Vernon’s Darren McNiven lives in car and creates Transformer replicas, art in former storage bin

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

Salmon Arm church enveloped with care after shooting

Elder: ‘We’re still processing; it will be a while to get over the worst of this.’

African children’s choir brings joy and energy to Okanagan-Shuswap

Performances in Salmon Arm, Penticton and Summerland will raise funds for education.

Tribute concert to raise money for youth treatment centre in Kelowna

The ABBA and Fleetwood Mac tribute bands will raise funds for he Bridge Youth & Family Services’ Youth Recovery House campaign

Most Read