Less invasive plants is good news for BC ranchers

Across all three regions is a common dislike of the impacts of common burdock, as the clinging burs lower the health and market value of livestock. 

Also a priority invasive plant of concern for BC's agriculture industry is sulphur cinquefoil. Being unpleasant to taste, sulphur cinquefoil plants are avoided, allowing them to out-compete nearby forage crops and native vegetation. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Aug. 27, 2015, Williams Lake—This season hard-working crews are controlling and stopping the spread of some priority invasive plants in BC's interior—good news for local ranchers.

A newly funded, Job Creation Partnership (JCP) Project, Invasive Species Skills Development Program, funded by the Province of British Columbia is providing 9 participants with valuable employment experience while increasing groundwork management of high priority invasive plants in the Cariboo and Thompson regions.

The JCP Project, delivered in partnership between the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) and the Province of BC, helps people gain work experience while inventorying and controlling high priority invasive plant species—creating a win for the local communities and a win for the workers.

Invasive plants are non-native and have incredible abilities to reproduce and spread; they do not have natural pest enemies to keep them in check in BC. They can overwhelm native plants; impact agriculture, tourism, fish and wildlife habitat, water quality, and public safety. Ranchers know first hand the impact of invasive plants to grazing lands.

JCP Project partners, including ISCBC, Cattlemen Association, Cariboo Regional District and Thompson Regional District and Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Forests Land Resources Natural Operations, along with other groups such as, First Nations, and regional invasive species committees representatives met together in May for the project areas of Williams Lake, Kamloops, and 100 Mile House. At these joint planning meetings, partners identified high priority species for action, including knapweed, sulphur cinquefoil, hawkweed, common tansy, and common burdock. Partners also identified primary management sites for areas where weed seed spreads easily, including gravel pits, recreational sites and trails, community and provincial parks, and crown grazing lands adjacent to these areas.

The JCP Project goal is to control priority weeds at critical sites through mapping, treating and taking inventory of the invasive species while providing 9 participants valuable skills that could lead to future job opportunities in invasive plant management. This Project will provide BC with more people skilled in managing invasive plants and educating communities about the impact to BC from invasive plant invasion.

Invasive plants are not wanted across the Cariboo or Thompson, especially by ranchers. Current agencies and partners are addressing local priorities to reduce the spread and impacts. This new Job Creation Project provides additional resources and people on the ground to inventory and control top priority invasive plant species. Together, all parties are aiming to reduce the toehold of invasive plants, and there is still a long path forward. With the JCP project, additional trained people will now be ready to join the ongoing action to reduce the spread of invasive plants in BC.

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About the Invasive Species Council of BC
The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) is working to minimize the negative ecological, social and economic impacts caused by the introduction, establishment, and spread of invasive species for more than 10 years. Their goals are to: educate the public and professionals about invasive species and their risks to ecosystems and economies through activities such as workshops, seminars and newsletters; coordinate research relating to invasive species and make this available to the public; and undertake and support actions that improve the health of BC’s natural ecosystems.  

Media contact:
Gail Wallin

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