B.C. grants $130,000 to fight invasive plants

Thompson-Nicola Regional District receiving $22,000 to control the spread of invasive plants

KAMLOOPS – The provincial government is providing $130,000 to the Southern Interior Weed Management Committee help control the spread of invasive plants, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone and Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake recently.

Thompson-Nicola Regional District is also getting $22,000.

These are two of 29 grants, totalling $1,702,000, that are being distributed provincewide to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to assist with their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.

“Controlling invasive species helps to create and protect healthy ecosystems,” Lake said. “This new funding supports programs aimed at reducing non-native plants and the development of invasive species management tools.”

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

This funding is in addition 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.

To learn more Invasive Plant Program, visit: www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm