The province has earmarked over $76,000 to help control the spread of invasive plants in the region, including the land around Rossland.
Two grants have been handed out to local regional groups—and 28 grants province-wide—like the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary ($40,500) and the Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee ($36,000) 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.
The committee and the regional district work together to raise public awareness, survey invasive plant populations and actively treat high-priority sites to control the spread of invasive plants.
The regional weed committee also serves as a forum for land managers and other stakeholders to co-ordinate treatment activities and participate in outreach and educational opportunities. There are currently 12 regional weed committees in the province, including the Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee.
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.
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.
- Invasive Alien Plant Program: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm
- Invasive Species Council of British Columbia: http://www.bcinvasives.ca