The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has committed an additional $2.25 million over the next three years to reduce the spread of invasive species in B.C.
“Invasive plants can have serious effects on many industries, as well as to the natural ecosystems on which we rely,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “This additional funding supports government’s commitment to protect B.C. from the impacts of invasive species, and helps the ministry specifically target invasive species on roadsides and in gravel pits.”
When gravel from pits contaminated with invasive plants is used in ministry operations, there can be serious effects on the environment and industry. Of the additional funding, over $750,000 will be targeted over the next three years to increased management of invasive plants in ministry gravel pits and quarries. The remaining $1.5 million will be used to increase the management of invasive species on highway rights of way.
This builds on the commitment in B.C. on the Move, the Province’s 10-year transportation plan, of $3.9 million over three years for invasive species management, and raises the ministry’s budget to more than $6 million over the next three years.
“During ‘Invasive Species Action Month’, the Province is committing this additional funding to help to ensure that priority invasive species can be more effectively managed,” said Cariboo North MLA and Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes. “We’re taking action, here in the Cariboo and around the province, to contain and reduce the spread of aggressive, non-native species.”
The ministry’s invasive species management program is supported primarily through partnerships with local governments, First Nations, and non-profit invasive species committees throughout B.C. This year’s funding will be allocated between over 20 agencies across all areas of the province to target the highest priority species in each region.
“The Cariboo Regional District is grateful for the increase in funding to address the issue of invasive plants within our region,” said Cariboo Regional District vice chair Ted Armstrong. “This increase will be used specifically for the treatment of invasive plants in gravel pits in the Cariboo Chilcotin.”
“The B.C. government is doing important work in tackling invasive species at the source in gravel pits and roadsides to curtail their spread along our travel corridors,” said Invasive Species Council of B.C chair Barry Gibbs. “Clean, weed-free gravel pits and sound practices along road corridors will greatly reduce the dispersal of invasive plants across the landscape.”
The ministry manages over 40,000 kilometres of highways and over 2,000 gravel pits across B.C. Last year alone, the ministry removed the equivalent of 500 hectares of invasive plants, comprised of over 80 different species, from road sides and gravel pits.
- Invasive plants are non-native plants brought to B.C. either accidentally or as landscaping or medicinal plants. They often have incredible abilities to reproduce and spread and do not have natural pests or pathogens here to keep them in check. They can choke out native plants and have a significant impact on agriculture, tourism, fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, and public safety.
- Some invasive species found in B.C. that are currently a concern include: four varieties of knotweed (Japanese, giant, bohemian and Himalayan), giant hogweed, European common reed and wild chervil.
- Other targeted invasive plant species include: marsh plume thistle, spotted knapweed, black henbane, garlic mustard, blueweed, common tansy, tansy ragwort, hoary alyssum, field scabious, leafy spurge, yellow flag iris, Himalayan balsam and orange and yellow (non-native) hawkweeds.
For more information on invasive plants in your area, check:
- the ministry’s invasive plant website at www.th.gov.bc.ca/invasiveplant
- the Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group at www.gov.bc.ca/invasive-species
- the Invasive Species Council of B.C. at www.bcinvasives.ca
- the Cariboo Regional District at www.cariboord.bc.ca/services/invasive-plants
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure