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Forum on invasive plants aids future research priorities for BC

IPCBC News Release, Nov. 7th, 2008: WILLIAMS LAKE—More than 100 participants enjoyed a successful international research forum Oct. 29th-30th at the Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond, where discussions on the growing issue of invasive plants on fragile ecosystems in British Columbia helped to identify both current research projects and future priorities for invasive plant management. 

The Invasive Plant Council of British Columbia (IPCBC), a grassroots, non-profit society working collaboratively to build cooperation and coordination of invasive plant management in BC, hosted “Invasive Plant Research in BC: Current Projects and Future Trends.”

Executive director for the IPCBC, Gail Wallin, explained that based on feedback from participants, “there is a very strong interest among invasive plant managers from across the United States, the Pacific Northwest of BC, and as far as Switzerland, to develop shared future priorities for research to combat invasive plants.”

She added that, “successful research projects and information on those successes needs to be shared across borders for greater collaboration and improved management practices.” 

Key priorities for research in BC identified at the forum include: the impact of invasive plants on species at risk; improving public awareness of invasive plants; and creating a consensus of appropriate restoration methods for infestation sites based on the ecology of specific invasive species.

Highlights of the forum included international speakers from Switzerland, across the United States, and the Pacific Northwest, with round table discussions on biological control methods, economic impacts, and new approaches to invasive plant management.

The objective of this forum was to provide an important venue for invasive plant managers in BC and across borders to discuss invasive plant research that is currently underway in BC and the Pacific Northwest, identify gaps in research that is required to inform successful invasive plant management, and provide next steps for invasive plant research in BC.

The IPCBC has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception in 2004. Membership as grown to almost 1000 individuals and 300 organizations! Membership is free and open to anyone willing to work collaboratively to respond to the growing threat of invasive plants in BC. Find out more at www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca!

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Media Contact:
Julianne Leekie, communications coordinator

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