Invasive Species and Pesticide Bylaws

The District is developing two new bylaws, an Invasive Species Management Bylaw and a Pesticide and Herbicide Use Bylaw. These bylaws are designed to prevent the use and spread of invasive species and greatly reduce the use of cosmetic pesticides, thereby meeting objectives and policies within the District’s Official Community Plan.

Learn more and get involved:

Join us at one of two virtual workshops to learn more about the project and share your comments and concerns.

(Note: Each workshop will cover the same content and begin with a staff presentation and overview of the proposed bylaws followed by a moderated discussion and opportunity to ask questions.)

Session 1: Thursday, December 3, 2020 from 3 to 5 p.m.
This afternoon session is geared towards professionals, such as landscapers, garden stores, pest control companies, consultants and contractors; however, all are welcome to join. Click here to register.

Session 2: Thursday, December 3, 2020 from 7 to 9 p.m.
This evening session is geared towards the general public. Click here to register.

Need help registering?
Please contact kloudon@squamish.ca

 


Can't attend?

Share your thoughts on the draft bylaws by completing this brief survey, open until December 17, 2020.

Review the bylaws:

 


Questions?
Please contact our Karlene Loudon, Environmental Coordinator, at kloudon@squamish.ca

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Invasive Species Management Bylaw

  • What is an invasive species?

    Invasive species are plants and animals that are not native to our region and as a result, lack natural predators.  Invasive species tend to grow rapidly, out-compete native species, and are challenging to manage, therefore often requiring a dedicated management approach implemented over multiple years.

     The Invasive Species Management Bylaw aims to regulate species listed within the Spheres of Concurrent Jurisdiction – Environment and Wildlife Regulationwhich includes high priority plants such as knotweed, giant hogweed, yellow flag iris and purple loosestrife, as well as potentially problematic animals such as bullfrog and eastern cottontail rabbit, among others.

  • What does the Invasive Species Management Bylaw prohibit?

    The Bylaw prohibits:

    • Sowing, planting, cultivating, releasing or allowing accumulation or spread of invasives;
    • Sale of invasive plants and animals; and
    • Treatment and disposal that do not conform with best management practices, as described in the bylaw.
  • How will the Bylaw be enforced?

    As with all District of Squamish bylaws, the District aims to seek voluntary compliance, which is often achieved through education. Under the proposed bylaw, the District may deliver a notice informing a property owner/occupier of the presence of invasive species, recommended steps to treat the species, and a reasonable timeline in which they are to comply. In cases of non-compliance, the bylaw enables the District to issue a fine (≤ $10,000) or ensure compliance by performing the works at the land owner’s or occupier’s expense.

  • Why do we need an invasive species bylaw?

    Invasive species are the second most significant threat to biodiversity after habitat destruction by land clearing, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN 2017). The economic and environmental impacts of invasive species are also significant.

    Current provincial legislation, including the Weed Control Act and the Wildlife Act’s Controlled Alien Species Regulation, offer species lists that are outdated and have no effective means of enforcement. In response, over twenty local governments within southern BC have adopted bylaws to regulate invasive species. Within the District, invasive species are currently managed under DPA 1 and the Soils Management Bylaw, but these bylaws are limited to certain developments and tend to promote reactive (as opposed to proactive) treatment.

Pesticide and Herbicide Use Bylaw

  • What is a pesticide?

    The word ‘pesticide’ is a blanket term that includes herbicides (for plants), insecticides (for insects), rodenticides (for rodents such as mice and rats) and many other substances that are meant to control pests. Herbicides are the most common types of pesticides. The word ‘pesticide’ is a blanket term that includes herbicides (for plants), insecticides (for insects), rodenticides (for rodents such as mice and rats) and many other substances that are meant to control pests. Herbicides are the most common types of pesticides. 

    Within the bylaw, a “pesticide” means a micro-organism or material that is represented, sold, used or intended to be used to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate a pest, and includes


    (a) A plant growth regulator, plant defoliator or plant desiccant,

    (b) A control product as defined in the Pest Control Products Act (Canada), and

    (c) A substance that is classified as a pesticide by Integrated Pest Management Act (British Columbia).


    Excluded Pesticides  are not subject to the bylaw. 

  • What does the bylaw prohibit?

    The bylaw prohibits application of pesticides used to maintain outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers and other ornamental plants and turf on lands used for residential purposes and municipal lands.

  • Are there exemptions?

    The District does not have the authority to regulate the following items; therefore, these have been included as exemptions within the bylaw:The District does not have the authority to regulate the following items; therefore, these have been included as exemptions within the bylaw:

    • Excluded Pesticides;
    • Pesticides applied on the residential areas of farms;
    • Pesticides applied to manage pests that transmit human diseases or impact agriculture or forestry
    • Pesticide application on or inside buildings
    • Pesticide application on lands used by agriculture, forestry, transportation, public utilities or pipelines.


    The bylaw includes additional exemptions to allow use of pesticides for invasive species, purification of water purification for human and animal consumption, and chemical treatment of pools and hot tubs. These are the most common exemptions used by other municipalities. 

    The District does not have the authority to regulate the sale or transportation of pesticides. 

  • How is the bylaw enforced?

    In cases of non-compliance, the bylaw enables the District to issue a fine (≤ $10,000). The District will, however, promote education and voluntary compliance by requesting that vendors post an informative notice at every sales display, and providing educational information on the District’s website.

  • Why do we need a pesticide bylaw?

    Pesticides may negatively impact non-target species (such as bees, fish and eagles) and can cause a variety of adverse health effects. With that said, pesticides also play a critical role in controlling some high-priority invasive species, protecting agriculture and controlling human and livestock disease vectors. As such, minimizing non-essential uses and ensuring appropriate use is essential.

    The Integrated Pest Management Act and Regulation establish conditions for the sale and use of pesticides in British Columbia, including vendor and user licences and applicator certificates among other tools, with the goal of preventing ‘unreasonable adverse effects’. In order to reduce non-essential and cosmetic pesticide use, over forty communities in BC have developed pesticide bylaws.

    The District’s Herbicide or Pesticide Bylaw 700, enacted in 1980, restricts aerial spraying and requires a license for application outside of residential yards. In 1986, the District enacted a policy limiting the use of certain pesticides on District lands. These tools are very outdated. As such, the District is developing the proposed bylaw to govern the non-essential use of pesticides and herbicides within Squamish.

  • What areas of Squamish are subject to the pesticide bylaw?

    The bylaw applies to municipal land and lands used for residential purposes within Squamish. See the FAQ regarding exemptions (above) for information on where the bylaw does not apply.