Invasive Species Council of British Columbia

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Giant Hogweed

A towering toxic invasive plant with WorkSafe BC regulations learn more »

Purple Loosestrife

An aggressive wetland invader that threatens plant and animal diversity learn more »

Japanese Knotweed

Grows aggressively through concrete, impacting roads and house foundations learn more »

Spotted Knapweed

A single plant spreads rapidly with up to 140,000 seeds per square metre learn more »

European Fire Ant

A tiny ant with a toxic sting learn more »

Scotch Broom

An evergreen shrub that invades rangelands, replaces forage plants, causes allergies in people, and is a serious competitor to conifer seedlings learn more »

Zebra/Quagga Mussels

These tiny freshwater mussels clog drains, damage infrastructure, and are very costly to control/eradicate learn more »

Yellow Hawkweed

Also orange, these invasive plants replace native vegetation along roadsides, and threaten areas not yet reforested learn more »

Board of Directors

The Council’s Board of Directors is comprised of 18 members, which are selected by the Council’s membership at the Annual General Meeting. Directors on the Board represent perspectives including federal government, First Nations, provincial government, local government, forest industry, mining, agriculture, utilities, transportation, regional committees, conservation and wildlife, recreation and tourism, and horticulture.

Current Board of Directors listed in alphabetical order:

Chief Harold Aljam (First Nations perspective)

Harold Aljam is the Chief of the Coldwater Indian Band and cattle rancher in the South Central Interior. He is a First Nations Agriculture Association representative, and Director for the Aboriginal Community Futures for the South Central Interior.
Alternate: Myrtle Muldoe

Kristy Alphonse-Palmantier (First Nations perspective, past-Chair)

Kristy is the Advisor, First Nations Relations, for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Cariboo Region in Williams Lake, and is a member of the 17 Band Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation. She has held various positions with her Williams Lake Indian Band, including Education, Treaty and Natural Resources Directors, and has served two terms on Chief and Council. Also, she and her family run a custom haying operation on the Bear Claw Ranch. Kristy was a member of the writing committee of the Invasive Plant Strategy of BC, and was previously the Vice-Chair of the ISCBC since its inception.
Alternate: TBC 

David Borth (Treasurer, Provincial Government perspective)

David Borth is Director of the Range Branch, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and is one of two provincial government representatives on the ISCBC Board. David was General Manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association in Kamloops from 1999 to 2005, and prior to this, he held multiple roles in range and planning for the Vanderhoof Forest District.
Alternate: Val Miller 

Christine Ensing (Local Government perspective)

Christine works as a Fisheries Habitat/Environmental Services Officer for the City of Burnaby Engineering Department. She functions primarily in an operational capacity, where City maintenance work and private development occurs near streams and wildlife habitat. Habitat protection includes managing and preventing the spread of invasives.
Alternate: TBC

Barry Gibbs (Vice-Chair, Agriculture perspective)

Barry Gibbs has been a Professional Agrologist since 1984. He has extensive experience in agri-business (with Dow AgroSciences) and farming. Barry is Co-chair of the Canadian Council of Invasive Species and Executive Director with the Alberta Invasive Plant Council.
Alternate: Ken Schwaerzle

Jude Grass (Secretary, Conservation and Wildlife perspective)

Jude has had a lifelong interest in natural history. In 2004, she retired from her work as a park naturalist for both BC Parks and the Greater Vancouver Regional District Parks. She currently serves as Chair of the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver, Lower Mainland Regional Coordinator for BC Nature, is a Nature Vancouver Board Member, and Chair of the Birding Section Committee. She is Past President of the BC Field Ornithologists, and serves on the boards of the Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies, Langley Field Naturalists, Stanley Park Ecology Society, Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club, and Friends of Semiahmoo Bay Society.
Alternate: Ellen Simmons

Merci Harris (First Nations perspective)

Merci Harris has been working with the Northwest Invasive Plant Council since 2005. She started out with the Gitxsan Crew in their Invasive Plant Program, a partnership with NWIPC. In 2008, she became the NWIPC's First Nations and Western Program Assistant, where eight partnerships between First Nations communities in Northwest BC, and NWIPC, are currently underway.
Alternate: Fernie May Garbitt

Brian Heise (Recreation and Tourism perspective)

Brian Heise is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at Thompson Rivers University, in Kamloops BC. Brian teaches courses in aquatic ecology and fisheries, and conducts research on the effects of various land use practices on freshwater ecosystems. He and his grad students are conducting research that involves an examination of the feeding ecology of invasive yellow perch in Okanagan lakes, and the effects of rock snot on aquatic invertebrates in streams.
Alternate: Daniel Bibby 

Judy Millar (Provincial Government perspective)

Judy Millar is a biologist with the Ministry of Environment in the Parks Division. She has worked for the provincial government for over 35 years including eight years with the ministry responsible for forests. She lives in the south Okanagan and spends much of her time on the coast. Her interests outside of work include kayaking, camping, reading, cooking, photography and gardening.
Alternate: David Ralph

Peter Mohammed (Forestry perspective)

Peter Mohammed is the past President of the Integrated Vegetation Management Association of BC, and part owner of Spectrum Resource Group, which is actively involved in invasive plant management. Peter helps to inform and train project leaders about the intricacies of herbicide legislation and the subtleties of legislative risk management.
Alternate: Bill Grutzmacher

Steve O’Hara (Mining perspective)

Steve worked in the forest industry, carrying out silviculture surveys for many years before venturing into the mining industry. He has worked in the Environmental Department at the Gibraltar Mine site since 2004 and is actively involved in reclamation work, which includes the invasive weed program at the mine site.
Alternate: Dave Polster

Jamie Richardson (Federal Government perspective)

Jamie has worked for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency since 1992 as an Inspector and Program Officer in Vancouver. He is currently the Program Network Specialist for Invasive Alien Species in Western Canada, and deals with invasive plant pests as well as invasive plants. He is also involved in several national projects.
Alternate: TBC

Carolyn Richman (Local Government perspective)

Carolyn is the Environmental Education Officer for the District of Saanich and lead for invasive species management for Saanich Environmental Services. She currently chairs the Coastal Invasive Plant Committee’s regional subcommittee “CRISP” (Capital Region Invasive Species Partnership), which pulls together local government representatives and others for more effective regional management. Carolyn also worked in ecological restoration and is finishing a diploma in Restoration of Natural Systems at the University of Victoria.
Alternate: Caroline Jackson

Emily Sonntag (Regional Committee perspective)

Emily Sonntag is the Invasive Plant Management Coordinator for the Cariboo Regional District’s Invasive Plant Management Program based out of Williams Lake, and Chair of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee. While she has been managing invasive plants in some capacity for the last seven years, her background is in horticulture.
Alternate: Elaine Armagost

Barb Stewart (Regional Committee perspective)

Barb Stewart is the Invasive Plant Program Coordinator for the Boundary Weed Management Committee based out of Rock Creek. She has been involved with invasive plants for the past 11 years and was a member of the writing committee for the Invasive Plant Strategy of BC. Barb currently chairs the Communication Committee and has been instrumental in helping guide the outreach work of the Council.
Alternate: Lisa Scott

Lesley Tannen (Horticulture perspective)

Current consultant and former Executive Director with the BC Landscape & Nursery Association Lesley has been active in supporting the Council's horticulture work and was a key member of the advisory team that updated and expanded "Grow Me Instead" and developed the PlantWise Pilot Program. Lesley calls White Rock home where she tries to balance work with her passion for painting.
Alternate: Paulus Vrijmoed

Crystal Wheeler (Transportation perspective)

Crystal is the Environmental Roadside Manager for the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and vice-chair of the Provincial Government Inter-ministry Invasive Species Working Group. She has been working with invasive species for almost 10 years in a variety of regions throughout BC, including the West Kootenays, Cariboo-Chilcotin and Vancouver Island.
Alternate: Dave Spata

Tom Wells (Chair, Utilities perspective)

Tom Wells is the Manager of Vegetation Program Strategy and Standards at BC Hydro, and he oversees the planning of vegetation maintenance programs on the provincial transmission and distribution system owned by BC Hydro.
Alternate: Dan Tisseur