The provincial government is providing $180,000 to the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to help control the spread of invasive plants, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Donna Barnett announced today.
The funding will be invested in activities such as raising public awareness of invasive plants, surveying and mapping invasive plant populations, and supporting the active treatment of high-priority sites to control the spread of invasive plants.
Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into British Columbia from other areas. They displace our native vegetation and can cause considerable economic and environmental damage, and some pose a health risk to people. Invasive plants may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.
This is one of 29 grants, totalling $1.6 million, that are being distributed provincewide to local governments and regional invasive species committees to assist with their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.
This funding is in addition to the $809,000 already earmarked by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2014-15.
Donna Barnett, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin -
“The Invasive Species Council of British Columbia plays a vital role in helping local communities and regional districts identify and control invasive plants throughout the province. The $180,000 grant that our government has provided to the organization this year is a recognition of its dedication and leadership in this important area.”
Barry Gibbs, chair, Invasive Species Council of British Columbia -
“The Invasive Species Council of B.C. appreciates the government’s ongoing financial support to take action against invasive species and limit their impact on communities, businesses and natural habitats. The council works closely with ranchers, forest managers, oil and gas companies, the landscaping industry and others to enable effective invasive plant management. The council also partners with boaters and local groups to implement the Clean, Drain and Dry program to protect B.C.’s lakes from aquatic invasive species. The provincial government and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. are recognized leaders in B.C. and beyond.”
- The Invasive Plant Program identifies sites where invasive plant species have been found and responds rapidly to contain and eradicate them before they become established and start spreading.
- Currently, some of the most intrusive plants in B.C. are marsh plume thistle, European common reed, garlic mustard, knotweed, and Spartina.
- Other targeted species include orange and yellow (non-native) hawkweeds, knapweed, giant hogweed, blueweed, common tansy, tansy ragwort, hoary alyssum, field scabious, leafy spurge, purple loosestrife, yellow flag iris, Himalayan balsam and Scotch broom.
- Invasive Alien Plant Program: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm
- Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/invasive-species/index.htm
- Invasive Species Council of British Columbia: http://www.bcinvasives.ca
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations