April 17, 2015 - 4:30 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN – The province is spending more than $1.7 million to help local governments and other organizations with the battle against unwanted plants damaging local ecosystems.
Minster of Lands and Kelowna MLA Steve Thomson announced the grants to fight invasive plant species in a media release this week.
“It’s important we get a handle on invasive plants before they cause tremendous harm to our environment and the people who enjoy it,” Thomson says in the release.
The targeted non-native plants were introduced to B.C. and can displace native vegetation, cause economic and environmental damage and may risk the health of people and animals, according to the release. Invasive plants can hurt ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and negatively impact crops.
“These funds will help many organizations stop the harm that invasive species cause in ecosystems,” Invasive Species Council of B.C. chair Barry Gibbs says in the release. “We value the collaborative approach that helps us work together to prevent and control the spread of invasive species."
Here is a list of the groups getting grants in the Thompson-Okanagan:
* Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society: $14,000
* Columbia Shuswap Regional District: $10,000
* Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society: $71,300
* Regional District of Central Okanagan: $13,000
* Regional District of North Okanagan: $34,400
* Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen: $14,500
* Southern Interior Weed Management Committee: $130,000
* Thompson-Nicola Regional District: $22,000
The money is in addition to the $735,000 already in the ministry’s budget for this fiscal year for invasive plant control.
The most intrusive plants in B.C., according to the ministry, are the giant and bohemian knotweeds, and marsh plume thistle from Japan, along with the European common reed and Spartina.
The other common plants targeted for control include giant hogweed, spotted knapweed, garlic mustard, blueweed, common tansy, tansy ragwort, hoary alyssum, field scabious, leafy spurge, yellow flag iris, Himalayan balsam, and non-native orange and yellow hawkweeds.
You can call in sightings of the unwanted plants by using the Report-A-Weed smartphone app, by calling 1-888-WEEDSBC or by using the online reporting tool at: www.reportaweedbc.ca.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015