SLRD Invasive Species Management and Control Service Establishment Bylaw, Alternative Approval Process and Noxious Weeds Control Bylaw

Oct 10, 2017
All Areas

Summary

Invasive species are moving at a rapid rate across British Columbia, posing a significant risk to the health and stability of native ecosystems and habitats. In recognition of this situation, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) has proposed two bylaws designed to help manage and minimize the threat of invasive species across the region.

The first, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Invasive Species Management and Control Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1541-2017, intends to establish a service area enabling the SLRD to contribute annually to external organizations (currently, funding is anticipated to be provided to the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council and the Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society) which are leading efforts to reduce the negative impacts of invasive species within the region. An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is now underway to obtain the elector approval needed to move forward with the service establishment bylaw.

The second, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Noxious Weeds Control Bylaw No. 1542-2017, is intended to establish an invasive species management and control service requiring people to keep their properties cleared and free of noxious weeds. This bylaw does not require an AAP; however, the SLRD welcomes comments and feedback from the public regarding this bylaw.

Background

An invasive species is any organism (plant, animal, fungus or bacterium) that is not native to a particular area and that has negative impacts to a particular area. Not all introduced species are considered invasive, but the ones that are pose the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. Invasive species can alter or destroy habitats, disrupt ecosystems, and pose a toxic threat to humans and animals.

Invasive plants in particular can displace vegetation by competing with native plants for water, nutrients and space. They can be introduced in a number of ways, including intentional planting, improper disposal of garden plants, and failing to properly clean and maintain vehicles and equipment.

The Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society (LRISS) is a not-for-profit organization working to reduce and minimize the negative impacts of invasive species in the northern part of the SLRD. LRISS has an open and free membership that includes the general public, St’át’imc Nation, local, regional and provincial governments, and both public and private land managers.

The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council (SSISC) is a not-for-profit society that works in cooperation with organizations, governments, and industry in the southern part of the SLRD to minimize the negative impacts caused by invasive species.

Proposed Bylaws

SLRD Invasive Species Management and Control Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1541-2017

The proposed Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Invasive Species Management and Control Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1541-2017 is intended to establish a new SLRD service that would annually contribute funds to external organizations (anticipated to be LRISS and SSISC) to enable these societies to continue on and enhance their work with financial certainty.

The purpose of Bylaw No. 1541-2017 is to authorize the SLRD to requisition funds, for the purpose of providing regional invasive species management and control services, through service delivery contracts with these external organizations. The services include public education and outreach as well as invasive species management and control.

The total sum to be annually requisitioned and provided to the organizations for the purpose of managing and controlling invasive species throughout the SLRD is up to $75,000.00. The SLRD Board has resolved to requisition a maximum of $50,000 in the first year of service implementation (i.e. 2018). The cost of the service is to be borne by the taxable properties within the service area, which is the SLRD’s four electoral areas (Area A, Area B, Area C & Area D) and its four member municipalities (District of Lillooet, Village of Pemberton, Resort Municipality of Whistler and District of Squamish).

An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is now underway to obtain electoral approval to proceed with Bylaw No. 1541-2017. You can read about the steps involved in this process below.

Alternative Approval Process (AAP)

Local governments can use an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) as a way to obtain elector approval in regard to certain types of proposed bylaws. An AAP is less expensive than undertaking a referendum. Prior to undertaking an AAP, the Inspector of Municipalities (Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing) must first approve the request. The SLRD received approval from the Inspector of Municipalities to undertake an AAP for the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Invasive Species Management and Control Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1541-2017 on Friday, October 6, 2017.

AAP - What's Required

A local government must publish a Notice of Alternative Approval Process for two consecutive weeks in a local newspaper. In the case of this AAP, the SLRD is placing the notice in the Bridge River Lillooet News, Pique Newsmagazine and Squamish Chief. The notice will run the weeks of October 12 – 25, 2017.

After the second of two notices is advertised, eligible electors will have 30 days in which to register their formal opposition to the establishment of the bylaw. The deadline for elector responses for this AAP is 4:30 PM on Monday November 27, 2017.

The method by which eligible electors express their opposition to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Invasive Species Management and Control Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1541-2017 (“Bylaw 1541-2017”) is by signing and submitting an Elector Response Form to the SLRD (before 4:30 PM on Monday November 27, 2017). Eligible electors must provide their full name and residential address. Eligible non-resident property electors must also provide the address of the property that they own within the SLRD and they are only entitled to sign and submit one elector response form, regardless of how many properties they may own within the SLRD.  

If 10% of eligible electors in the SLRD – estimated to be 3,678 people – oppose the SLRD Board's intention to adopt the proposed bylaw (No. 1541-2017), the SLRD Board cannot proceed without first holding a referendum. 

If the 10% threshold mentioned in the preceding paragraph is not attained, then the SLRD Board may proceed with adopting the bylaw.

The SLRD will use this page to provide regular updates on this project.

SLRD Noxious Weeds Control Bylaw No. 1542-2017

The proposed Squamish-Lillooet Regional DistrictNoxious Weeds Control Bylaw No. 1542-2017 is intended to establish an invasive species management and control regulation requiring people to keep their properties cleared and free of noxious weeds. This bylaw is consistent with the SLRD’s Official Community Plans (OCPs) and Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), including the need to protect a functioning, natural ecosystem, and to create safe and healthy communities.

This regulatory bylaw addresses issues such as the geographic area, the authority of the control officers, notification to property owners and occupiers, additional cost recovery mechanisms, the appeal process, and the offence and penalty terms. The statement of regulation within the noxious weeds bylaw provides that “Every Owner or Occupier of Real Property within the Control Area shall ensure that his or her real property be cleared of and remain free from all Noxious Weeds.”

While the bylaw completely prohibits noxious weeds on private lands, the SLRD’s bylaw enforcement officer will exercise discretion when interpreting the bylaw. This discretion applies to distinguishing between severe offenders who have allowed infestations to continually worsen, and minor offenders who may be taking action to control infestations on their property. 

Importantly, the bylaw only applies to Noxious Weeds (and not all invasive species) on private lands, or ‘real property’. Public lands, or crown land, is not covered under this bylaw; many other provincial laws, such as the Forest and Range Practices Act cover invasive species management on public lands.  A list of all Noxious Weeds that are prohibited by the bylaw is attached as the bylaw’s schedules (Schedule A and Schedule B).

Please note, consent and statutory approval are not required for the introduction of this regulatory bylaw. However, the SLRD welcomes feedback from the public about the proposed bylaw.

Important Forms & Documents

Questions or Concerns?

Graham Haywood
Project and Research Coordinator
Telephone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 229
Email: ghaywood@slrd.bc.ca

Kristen Clark
Director of Legislative and Corporate Services
Telephone: (604) 894-6371 ext. 230
Email: kclark@slrd.bc.ca

Inside the SLRD > Current Projects & Initiatives > SLRD Invasive Species Management and Control Service Establishment Bylaw, Alternative Approval Process and Noxious Weeds Control Bylaw