B.C.’s Ministry of Environment has banned all dogs and other domestic pets from Joffre Lakes Provincial Park effective May 18.
According to the ministry, the decision was made to protect the park as the popular location receives upwards of 170,000 visitors per year.
“More people means more dogs, which affects the enjoyment of the park by other visitors, raises public health concerns and results in increased conservation efforts,” read a statement from the ministry.
The ministry says dogs, both on and off leash, impact the surrounding wildlife.
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“Their sounds or scents can cause birds and other animals, like pikas (small mammals), to look for different habitat.”
The ministry also says there are owners who don’t clean up after their pets. It also says dogs swimming in the lakes can cause health issues since some campers use them to drink water.
This is not the first time dogs and other domestic pets have been banned from a B.C. provincial park, according to the ministry, noting similar bans are in place in Garibaldi, Bowron Lake, Kokanee Glacier and Cathedral provincial parks.
Park rangers will monitor the five-kilometre trail year-round to enforce the ban.