This week I had the pleasure of making a very significant announcement for our region.
The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee is receiving $10,000 to help support invasive plant surveys and monitor treatment efficacy. This announcement will help keep invasive plants that can cause many problems out of our local ecosystems.
What is an invasive plant you ask? Well, an invasive plant can be described as a non-native plant that has been introduced, either intentionally or accidentally, from other areas and is harmful to the environment, economy or animal or human health.
They also reproduce aggressively and displace the naturally occurring plant life.
This may not sound like a big deal to some people, but these types of plants are a real nuisance. They can affect human and animal health, harm other native plants that are important to the local ecosystem, and can even harm local crops and property values. Another big problem is they can become overgrown and impede trails, making them impassable for recreation vehicle users and hikers. Basically, the less we have of these plants, the better.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources funds this program and is providing $705,000 to invasive plant committees and regional districts across British Columbia. This is on top of the already $3 million invested in an employment program called “Take Action,” which has created more than 150 jobs.
These people are in charge of managing invasive plants and curbing the spread of them within their communities.
So now that steps have been taken to stop these plants from causing problems our local ecosystems can hopefully start to flourish and thrive without the danger of these aggressive plants. Stopping the spread of these plants will benefit plants, animals, people, and our local ecosystem as a whole.
For more information on the invasive plant program visit http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.