While June has been declared Invasive Species Action Month, the public is encouraged to be active about stopping the spread throughout the year.
“Invasive plants are non-native plants that have been introduced to B.C. that have detrimental economic, environmental and health effects on humans, livestock and wildlife,” says the Cariboo Chilcotin Invasive Species Plant Committee. “Also known as noxious weeds, or alien species, they are far more aggressive than common weeds and choke out native species reducing biodiversity in our precious ecosystems.”
Humans are most often directly responsible for introducing a species to a new region, whether intentionally or unintentionally. So what can you do to help?
Identification and Prevention
The first step is learning to identify what plants are invasive. For a detailed list of priority species in the Cariboo Chilcotin please visit http://cccipc.ca/index.php/cariboo-chilcotin/priority-species/ you can also view or download the Regional Strategic Plans that prioritizes each plant species within our area including the Central Coast areas at http://cccipc.ca/index.php/resources/regional-strategic-plans Provincially you can also visit http://www.weedsbc.ca/index.html
Do you, as the slogan goes “Play Clean Go”? This means removing invasive plants, seeds, roots and materials from vehicles, clothing, equipment, tools, livestock and pets prior to leaving an area (www.playcleango.org). Teach others to do the same.
This practice also applies to Boats as many invasive plants are aquatic by nature. The slogan “Clean Drain Dry” is another practice that helps stop the spread of invasive species – visit http://bcinvasives.ca/resources/programs/clean-drain-dry/ for more information.
Gardeners please know what you grow and avoid purchasing invasive plants (or unknown wildflower mixes). For ornamental alternatives view the GROW ME INSTEAD brochure at http://bcinvasives.ca/documents/GMI-Booklet_2013_WEB.
Stay on existing roads and trails and avoid travelling in weed infested areas to prevent seed dispersal.
Report new sightings of invasive plants to to 1-888-WEEDS-BC.
Do: Collect invasive plants, seeds, roots and material in sealed heavy plastic bags and dispose of them in the garbage (note- there are specific invasive plant bins at the CRD transfer stations).
Don’t: Compost, burn in open pits, transport un-bagged invasive plants, or place with organic material or wood waste in landfills.
Contact the CRD’s Operational Invasive Plant Management program for help with infestations at 1-800-665-1636. They can provide advice, loan you equipment and supplies or other assistance as able.