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Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2015FLNR0060-000523
April 17, 2015
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
B.C. grants $1.7 million to fight invasive plants

VICTORIA – The B.C. government is distributing over $1.7 million in new grants to help control the spread of invasive plants in the province, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today.

The 29 grants will be given to regional invasive species committees, local governments and the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia to support their activities and the goals of the provincial Invasive Plant Program. This funding is additional to the $735,000 already allocated by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2015-16.

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into British Columbia from other areas. They displace native vegetation, can cause significant economic and environmental damage, and may pose health risks to people and animals. Invasive plants can disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

The Invasive Species Council of B.C., regional invasive species committees, local governments, government ministries and other stakeholders work together to raise public awareness of invasive plant concerns, identify and map invasive plant populations, and treat high-priority sites to control the spread of invasive plants.

The Invasive Species Council of B.C., based in Williams Lake, assists with program co-ordination and communications, collaboratively develops best management practices, and helps increase public awareness and reporting of invasive species provincewide.

Regional invasive species committees are non-profit societies that provide a forum for land managers and other stakeholders to co-ordinate invasive plant treatments and to participate in outreach and educational opportunities. There are currently 12 regional invasive species committees in B.C.

Quotes:

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –

“Our government is committed to conserving habitat, supporting British Columbia’s ranching and agriculture industries, and restricting the spread of harmful non-native species in British Columbia. These Invasive Plant Program grants help local governments and regional organizations identify incursions of invasive plants and treat them effectively to limit any damage they may cause in the future.”

Barry Gibbs, chair, Invasive Species Council of British Columbia –

“The Invasive Species Council of B.C. believes that all British Columbians need to play a role to prevent invasive species from impacting our communities, so we value the support that the provincial government provides to our partners and other groups. These funds will help many organizations stop the harm that invasive species cause in ecosystems. We value the collaborative approach that helps us work together to prevent and control the spread of invasive species.”

Quick Facts:

  • The Invasive Plant Program identifies sites where invasive plant species have been found in B.C. and responds quickly to contain and eradicate them before they become established.
  • Some of the most intrusive plants in B.C. currently are: Japanese, giant and bohemian knotweeds; marsh plume thistle; European common reed; and Spartina.
  • Other targeted invasive plant species include giant hogweed, spotted knapweed, garlic mustard, blueweed, common tansy, tansy ragwort, hoary alyssum, field scabious, leafy spurge, yellow flag iris, Himalayan balsam, and orange and yellow (non-native) hawkweeds.
  • Members of the public can report sightings of invasive species anywhere in B.C. by using the Report-A-Weed smartphone app, by calling 1 888 WEEDSBC or by using the online reporting tool at: http://www.reportaweedbc.ca

Learn More:

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

B.C. Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group: www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/invasive-species/index.htm

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

A backgrounder follows.

 
Media Contact:
 
Greig Bethel
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
250 356-5261
 

 
Province of British Columbia
BACKGROUNDER
For Immediate Release
2015FLNR0060-000523
April 17, 2015
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Summary of Invasive Plant Program grant distribution for 2015-16
  • Boundary Invasive Species Society: $32,800
  • Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee: $10,000
  • Cariboo Regional District: $204,000
  • Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee: $47,900
  • City of Richmond: $7,000
  • Coastal Invasive Species Committee: $24,500
  • Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society: $14,000
  • Columbia Shuswap Regional District: $10,000
  • Comox Valley Regional District: $12,500
  • East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council: $194,000
  • Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council Society: $50,000
  • Fraser Valley Regional District: $23,750
  • Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver: $35,000
  • Invasive Species Council of British Columbia: $217,750
  • Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society: $34,000
  • Municipality of North Cowichan: $7,000                       
  • Northern Rockies Regional Municipality: $30,000
  • Northwest Invasive Plant Council: $297,500
  • Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society: $71,300
  • Peace River Regional District: $46,900
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan: $13,000
  • Regional District of East Kootenay: $23,300
  • Regional District of Kootenay Boundary: $41,500
  • Regional District of North Okanagan: $34,400
  • Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen: $14,500
  • Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council: $46,400
  • Southern Interior Weed Management Committee: $130,000
  • The Corporation of Delta: $7,000
  • Thompson-Nicola Regional District: $22,000

Total amount of invasive plant grants for 2015-16: $1,702,000

 
Media Contact:
 
Greig Bethel
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
250 356-5261
 

 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect