Funding helping fight against invasive plants

The provincial government is providing $12,000 to the Comox Valley Regional District to control the spread of invasive plants.

The provincial government is providing $12,000 to the Comox Valley Regional District to control the spread of invasive plants.

The funding will be invested in activities such as raising public awareness, surveying invasive plant populations and actively treating high-priority sites to control the spread of invasive plants.

Invasive plants are not native to a particular ecosystem and have the potential to displace long-established species. They can cause considerable economic and environmental damage.

Invasive plants may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

This is part of 28 grants being given provincewide to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to assist their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.

This funding is in addition to the $534,000 already earmarked by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2013/14.

“I understand that controlling invasive plants can be costly if not dealt with in a timely manner. The Invasive Plant Program does a great job of identifying outbreaks of invasive plants and making sure they are dealt with appropriately,” said Don McRae, MLA for the Comox Valley.

Quick facts:

• 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 orange and yellow (non-native) hawkweeds, garlic mustard, cordgrasses and knotweed.

• Other targeted species include knapweed, giant hogweed, black henbane, blueweed, common tansy, tansy ragwort, hoary alyssum, field scabious, leafy spurge, purple loosestrife, yellow flag iris, Himalayan balsam and Scotch broom.

Learn more:

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

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

— BC Government Caucus Communications

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