Weed management planning conversation sparked
Recent community events hosted by non-profit organization; The East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC), conveyed the urgent action and planning required by local municipalities to manage invasive plants and animals.
EKISC held an open house series from September 22-30 in Radium Hot Springs, Invermere, Canal Flats, Kimberly, Cranbrook, Fernie and Elkford. The events provided the small organization the opportunity to communicate the work they do and share community programs and resources as well as receive feedback and answer concerns from the public.
The EKISC team reinforced the urgency required in addressing invasive species now to avoid expensive economic, social and environmental costs if delayed. All land occupiers in the Province of British Columbia have a legal responsibility to control provincially and regionally listed noxious weeds (BC Weed Control Act and Regulation). Knotweed and Leafy Spurge are two regionally prevalent invasive plant species displayed during the events. If no weed management plan is incorporated in to city planning immediately, plants such as these will have financially encumbering ramifications on municipalities.
Jamie Davies of the Regional District of East Kootenay was present to share financial and other resources available to assist private land occupiers via The Neighbourhood Invasive Plant Program (NIPP). A funding support program, backpack sprayer loaning and rebates are resources offered through NIPP to support landowners in complying with the BC Weed Control Act.
One week prior to the open house series, EKISC invited their members and East Kootenay residents to join on their annual field tour.
The September 15 event was well attended. Thirty participants toured the region stopping at invasive plant viewpoints including the Yellow Flag Iris site at Skookumchuck Narrows and Purple Loosestrife site at Bummers Flats.
Participants learned of how EKISC prioritise their work in the region according to the provincial Early Detection, Rapid Response approach. The tour was a great opportunity to celebrate collaborative efforts in conservation management. Ongoing partnerships continue to evolve between EKISC and The Nature Conservancy of Canada, The Nature Trust, The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and BC Parks with the objective to minimize the impacts of invasive species and rehabilitate effected areas.
EKISC’s October general meeting will be held on October 27 from 3 – 5 p.m. at the Heritage Inn Hotel and Convention Centre, 803 Cranbrook Street North, Cranbrook. All residents and municipal officials are invited to hear 2016 program updates and contribute to the organizational planning for 2017 and beyond.
Photos from the September 15 Field Tour event in the Columbia Valley. Images contributed by EKISC