Whistler amends pesticide regulations around invasive species control
Coordinator – Thu Nov 29, 2012 @ 02:04PM
Amendment to Pesticide Use Regulation Bylaw approved by council
The purpose of Pesticide Use Regulation Amendment Bylaw No. 2001, 2012 is to implement a Pesticide Exemption Application process that may permit an approved pesticide applicator to chemically treat invasive species that may cause economic and environmental harm or harm to human health within the boundaries of the RMOW.
Pesticide Use Regulation Bylaw No. 1822, 2007 regulates the application of pesticides for nonessential and cosmetic purposes on private and public lands within the boundaries of the RMOW.
At the time that the bylaw was adopted, an inventory of invasive species within the RMOW boundaries had not yet been completed. Since then the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council was formed, and has completed an extensive inventory of invasive species and community-wide education.
As a result of increased awareness about invasive species, Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), sightings reports have increased.
These invasive species pose an economic and environmental threat to the community as these species spread exponentially causing damage to infrastructure, biodiversity, streams and rivers, and even human health.
Because of the persistent nature of Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed, the goal for management of these species is eradication.
RMOW staff, in consultation with the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council and its community advisory team, have determined that manual and mechanical methods of controlling Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed are no longer effective or viable options, and have agreed that chemical control is necessary to prevent further damage to infrastructure and minimize the threat to Whistler’s biodiversity.
The pesticide regulation bylaw amendment establishes a Pesticide Exemption Application, which will need to be completed and approved by designated RMOW staff before the regulated use of pesticides can occur on public or private lands by Ministry of Environment-certified pesticide applicators. These trained applicators will strategically and judiciously target the use of herbicides; deal with transportation, handling, and storage of pesticides; provide education to targeted audiences; and dispose of the pesticides and containers safely.
Written notice and signs will need to be issued and erected before, during and after an application indicating the type of treatment used for which species, species information, the effects of the chemicals being used, and safety precautions that need to be adhered in addition to other protocols indicated in the bylaw.
Information about applying for pesticide exemption, and identifying invasive species will be posted on whistler.ca.
Council gave first, second, and third readings to the bylaw amendment later in their meeting.
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