TNRD battles grasshoppers

TNRD Director Ken Gillis takes up the sword against the perennial pest of grasshoppers.

by Adam Williams

Kamloops This Week

Ken Gillis has seen firsthand the scourge of the grasshopper.

Last year, it was a field in Ashcroft, a ruler-straight line marking where the healthy, green alfalfa gave way to the grasshopper-ravaged crops.

This year, Gillis, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s Area L (Grasslands) director, has seen the pests destroy properties in Pritchard and take over land across his region outside of Kamloops.

“In some areas of our regional district, certainly in my area, the grasshoppers have reached plague proportions,” he said.

It’s the plague of the grasshoppers that has Gillis seeking a meeting with Minster of Agriculture Norm Letnick at next month’s convention of the Union of B.C. Municipalities, in hopes of reinstating the Grasshopper Control Act.

Gillis said the Act, which was repealed in 1998, applied a grasshopper tax to rural areas where the pests had been shown to be a problem. Money collected each season by the provincially managed program gave landowners the resources necessary to deal with the insects in problem years.

“It strikes me that, because of that, it should be self-funding,” Gillis said.

“I can’t imagine why it was repealed in the first place.”

Without the Act, Gillis said landowners are left with little recourse for managing growing grasshopper populations, which can easily get out of control in drought-like conditions.

Throughout the summer, a number of Alberta counties have declared agricultural disasters because of minimal rain and larger-than-normal grasshopper populations.

Gillis hasn’t yet sought the support of other regional districts, but will, if necessary.

“I remember reading about the locusts in the drought years of the 1930s and the damage that was inflicted on the Prairie provinces,” Gillis said.

“I can understand it now,. I’ve seen it with my own eyes,” he said.

“They can absolutely devastate an area.”

Just Posted

Three Ashcroft RCMP constables receive Award of Valour

Highest award for a B.C. police officer given for heroic actions during 2018 mudslides

Ashcroft council receives winter road maintenance update

Council also votes to enter a float in this year’s Santa Parade

Cache Creek council report

Issues at Cache Creek water treatment plant are a big concern

The Rundown: Clinton News

High speed internet in Clinton hits a roadblock, and more from recent Clinton council meeting

Clinton-area author draws on own experiences for her books

Dorothy Jepp grew up on High Bar First Nation and writes the books she wanted to see as a child

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Manitoba slams lack of detail on Indigenous child-welfare overhaul plan

The federal government has said the legislation will reduce the number of Indigenous children in care

Services needed for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease patients: doctor, advocates

More patients are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at an earlier age

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Most Read