Dogs will no longer be allowed at Joffre Lakes as of May 18.
“Dogs, on- and off-leash, have an impact on the surrounding wildlife. Their sounds or scents can cause birds and other animals, like pikas (small mammals), to look for different habitat,” reads a news release from the provincial government. “Some park users also do not clean up after their dogs, and the waste can contaminate the water system. Dogs swimming in the lakes are another health issue, since campers use the water for drinking.”
In recent years there has been a huge spike in the number of visitors using the Joffre Lakes trail.
The trail now sees about 170,000 visitors each year, the province says.
Authorities estimate that last year, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park had 3,891 campers and 157,215 day-use visitors, 60 per cent of which made the strenuous hike to the second of the three lakes in the park.
The province says that this is not the first time dogs and other domestic pets have been prohibited from a B.C. provincial park.
Similar prohibitions are in place to protect the environment in Garibaldi, Bowron Lake, Kokanee Glacier and Cathedral provincial parks.