Provincial funding helps weed out invasive plants

Southern Interior Weed Management Committee is getting $114,800 and TNRD is getting $24,000 to combat invasive weeds

Southern Interior Weed Management Committee is getting $114,800) while Thompson-Nicola Regional District is getting $24,000 to combat invasive weeds.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) are providing the funding.

“Invasive species remain an ongoing challenge, especially once they take root,” said Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake. “We’re quite fortunate to have dedicated partners on the ground, including volunteer groups and local governments.”

Invasive plants are not native to a particular ecosystem and have the potential to displace long-established species and cause considerable economic or environmental damage. They may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

Across British Columbia, 28 recipients will share $1,727,000 in funding from FLNRO to support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.

The Invasive Plant Program identifies the locations of invasive plant species and responds rapidly to contain and eradicate them before they spread.

This funding is in addition to the $2,535,000 already earmarked by the Province for invasive plant control and management in 2012/13.

Methods used to minimize the spread of invasive plants include mechanical treatments (physical removal or destruction), chemical treatments (targeted use of herbicides), and biological controls (using an invasive plant’s natural predators to control its growth).

The Invasive Species Grants will be used to:

• protect habitats and native species from impacts caused by expanding invasive plant populations;

• develop collaborative invasive plant management strategies with all land management agencies at the local level;

• identify and treat invasive plant species that are new to a region;

• support First Nations IP Partnership Programs (12 established and several more in progress);

• support local government weed programs and awareness activities.

For more information:

· Invasive Alien Plant Program: www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm

· Invasive Species Council of British Columbia: www.bcinvasives.ca