To protect the environment and wildlife at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, dogs and other domestic pets will be prohibited as of Friday, May 18, 2018.
In recent years, BC Parks has seen a huge spike in the number of people using the five-kilometre Joffre Lakes trail, which now has 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.
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. 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.
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.
Last year, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park had 3,891 campers and 157,215 day-use visitors, of which 60% made the strenuous hike to the second of the three lakes in the park.
The dog prohibition will be enforced by park rangers year-round.
BC Parks allows dogs in many provincial parks, including nearby Alice Lake, but domestic animals are restricted from beaches and day-use areas, public buildings and other sensitive areas where signs are posted. In the areas where dogs are allowed, owners are required to clean up after their pets and must control the animal at all times so they do not impact the park environment.
For more information about Joffre Lakes, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/joffre_lks/
For a list of dog-friendly provincial parks, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/recreation/dog-friendly
For more information about BC Parks, visit: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks