IPCBC News Release, April 19, 2010: WILLIAMS LAKE—The Board of Directors for the Invasive Plant Council of British Columbia (IPCBC) appoints Kristy Palmantier as the newly elected Chair for the 2010-12 term.
Kristy is a dedicated member of the IPCBC Board, having served as Vice-Chair since the Council’s inception in 2004. Her team approach and expert guidance aided the Council through many important decisions as it progressed from initial strategic planning and development to the more rapid growth phases of 2008 and 2009.
Kristy is the Aboriginal Program Specialist for the Ministry of Environment in Williams Lake, and a member of the Secwepemc (Shuswap) Nation. She has held various positions with the Williams Lake Indian Band, including Education, Treaty and Natural Resources Director, and has served for two terms on Band Council. She and her family run the Bearclaw Ranch on the Sugar Cane reserve, and BC Custom Wood Caskets.
As Chair, Kristy will lead the Council through several province-wide programs, including year two of the Invasive Plant Training Program that provides skills training in invasive plant management for unemployed resource workers, and the Hot Spots program that coordinates treatment, inventory, and monitoring of invasive plants across BC in collaboration with regional committees. In 2009, over 100 Hot Spots workers inventoried 14,000 hectares of invasive plants and treated almost 400 hectares in BC!
Kristy also led the formation of a new Aboriginal Working Group, which aims to increase awareness and support for Aboriginal involvement in invasive plant management in BC. Objectives include providing policy direction and advice to the Council for invasive plant management activities; reducing negative impacts on Aboriginal communities, traditional foods and environment caused by invasive plants; and reducing loss of wildlife habitat and important plants by invasive plants within Aboriginal traditional territories. The Aboriginal Working Group will also encourage the development of strategic partnership agreements between government, industry, aboriginal and non-native communities, and help track progress and measure success of land management practices.
Improving public and land manager awareness of the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species is another priority project for the IPCBC in 2010. These aquatic invaders threaten BC’s aquatic and marine ecosystems, impact human health and safety, and degrade infrastructure and recreation opportunities. Spread by a variety of pathways including water-based recreation, waterscaping, and improper disposal of aquarium waste, the Council is working to “spread the word, not the weed” through outreach and education programs across the province. In addition, the Council is continuing its work with the horticulture industry to help gardening enthusiasts, industry professionals, nurseries, and others make informed choices when selecting, growing, trading or purchasing ornamental plants.
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The IPCBC is a grassroots, non-profit society working collaboratively to build cooperation and coordination of invasive plant management in BC. Workshops, activities, and events educate the public and professionals about invasive plants and their potential risks. IPCBC is working to “spread the word, not the weed” through outreach and education; thus minimizing the establishment of invasive plants.
The IPCBC has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception in 2004. Initiated and mentored under the vision of the Fraser Basin Council, the Invasive Plant Council of BC is recognized across the country for its leadership in building collaboration to the challenging and exploding problem of invasive plants.
For more information, contact the Invasive Plant Council (IPCBC): www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca • (250) 392-1400 • firstname.lastname@example.org