Two local organizations in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will receive funding from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) to help combat invasive plants.
The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee will receive $36,500 and the Cariboo Regional District will receive $83,000.
Invasive plants are ones that are not native to a particular ecosystem and have the potential to displace long-established species, causing considerable economic or environmental damage.
They may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry or adversely affect commercial crops.
“Once invasive plants take root in a specific area, it can be extremely difficult to protect native species,” says Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “I know this funding will go a long way in helping combat this rural issue.”
Methods used to minimize the spread of invasive plants include mechanical treatments (physical removal or destruction), chemical treatments (targeted use of herbicides), and biological controls (using an invasive plant’s natural predators to control its growth).
The invasive species grants will be used to:
• protect habitats and native species from impacts caused by expanding invasive plant populations;
• develop collaborative invasive plant management strategies with all land management agencies at the local level;
• identify and treat invasive plant species that are new to a region;
• support First Nations IP Partnership Programs (12 established and several more in progress);
• and support local government weed programs and awareness activities.
Across British Columbia, 28 recipients will share $1,727,000 in funding from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) to support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.
The Invasive Plant Program identifies the locations of invasive plant species and responds rapidly to contain and eradicate them before they spread.
This funding is in addition to the $2.5 million already earmarked by the Province for invasive plant control and management in 2012/13.