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Posted: February 15, 2019

Leafy scourge of the Columbia Valley

Listed as a provincially regulated species, leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) is an invasive weed that has increasingly negative impacts to the Columbia Valley.

This plant thrives in open rangeland, inhibits the growth of native species, and can be toxic to grazing animals. It has become well established in the Upper Columbia Valley around Radium, likely introduced with contaminated hay and further spread via heavy equipment.

The East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC) has collaborated with the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund to form a long-term management strategy – which has shown great success.

At the completion of its eighth year, the initial containment area has been reduced, “A significant amount of land has been recovered, and outlying leafy spurge sites are now being targeted,” stated EKISC’s Program Manager Todd Larsen. “It is fantastic to see these previously degraded grasslands being restored to support functional native ecosystems.”

It’s important for the public to identify and report the plant as well; identification tips and easy reporting platform is made easier with the Report-a-Weed App, available for Android and Apple products, EKISC noted.

More information/photos of Leafy Spurge can be found here.

Lead image: Leafy spurge in the Columbia Valley. Larry Halverson photo

East Kootenay Invasive Species Council

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