April 23, 2016 - 1:32 PM
PENTICTON – The provincial government is providing a combined $83,800 to two South Okanagan organizations to help control the spread of invasive plants, Penticton MLA Dan Ashton announced.
· Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen: $12,500.
· Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society: $71,300.
These are two of 31 grants, totalling $1,727,000, that are being distributed throughout the province in 2016 to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. This funding will assist with these groups’ ongoing activities and also support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.
“Invasive plants cause real damage to the environment, but also to our prosperity,” Ashton said. “They cause soil erosion, reduce biodiversity and are harmful to commercial crops. Controlling invasive species is an important part of investing in our region’s future.”
The grants will be used to help raise public awareness of invasive plant concerns, survey invasive plant populations and actively treat high-priority sites to control the spread of these destructive plants.
Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into British Columbia from other areas.
They displace native vegetation and can cause considerable economic and environmental damage.
Some pose a health risk to people (e.g. skin irritation).
Invasive plants can also disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.
- The provincial Invasive Plant Program identifies sites where new 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 targeted invasive plant species in B.C. are marsh plume thistle, European common reed, garlic mustard, knotweed, Spartina, 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 Plant Program: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm
B.C. 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
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016