The provincial government is providing over $1.7 million in new grants to control the spread of invasive plants, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced on May 24.
The 28 grants are being given to local governments, Regional Weed Committees and the Invasive Species Council of BC to assist their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program. This funding is in addition to the $714,000 already earmarked by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2012-13.
Regional weed committees, the Invasive Species Council of BC, local governments, provincial government ministries and stakeholders work together to raise public awareness, survey invasive plant populations and actively treat high-priority invasive plant sites to control their spread. Funding has also been granted to the Invasive Species Council of BC for provincial collaboration, co-ordination and communication, as well as establishing best management practices for invasive plants.
Regional weed committees serve as forums for land managers and other stakeholders to co-ordinate treatment activities and participate in outreach and educational opportunities. Invasive plants are not native to a particular ecosystem and have the potential to displace long-established species and can cause considerable economic or environmental damage. They may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.