Province issues funds to combat invasive plants

Victoria doles out nearly $8 million to 34 provincial municipalities, groups, regional districts

Municipalities and groups will share in $7.7 million in grants provided by the Ministry of Forests to manage the spread of invasive plants in B.C.

The grants are part of a multi-year funding program that will see the money distributed to 34 regional invasive species organizations, local governments, environmental groups and researchers, as well as the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia.

“Our government is committed to containing or eradicating harmful invasive plants that adversely affect both rural and urban communities,” said Forests Minister Doug Donaldson. “The introduction of multi-year grants will help recipients develop effective, long-term plans to manage invasive plants at the regional level.”

Instead of providing grants on a year-to-year basis, as was done in the past, the recipients will receive stable, multi-year funding up front for periods up to three years. This money will assist with their ongoing efforts to control the spread of unwelcome plants and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into B.C. from areas outside of the province. They can displace native vegetation, cause substantial economic and environmental damage, and potentially pose a health risk to animals and people. Invasive plants disrupt ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

The Invasive Species Council of British Columbia, regional invasive species committees, local governments, provincial government ministries and other stakeholders work closely together to raise awareness of invasive plants, identify and map them, and treat high-priority sites to control their spread. Regional invasive species organizations are non-profit societies that provide a forum for land managers and other stakeholders to co-ordinate treatments and participate in outreach and educational opportunities.

“The Invasive Species Council of B.C. and its partners are pleased with the Province’s increased investment to prevent the spread of invasive plants,” said Invasive Species Council of B.C. chair Brian Heise. “Its support for invasive plant management throughout the province helps recipients in both urban and rural communities co-ordinate their efforts and work together to protect British Columbia’s natural landscapes.”

Summary of Invasive Plant Program grants provided in 2018

The recipients of the grants are as follows:

* Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada: $1,450,000 over four to five years

* Boundary Invasive Species Society: $62,000 over two years

* Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International: $780,000 over three years

* Capital Regional District: $32,000 over three years

* Cariboo Regional District: $687,000 over three years

* Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee: $6,000 over two years

* Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society: $130,000 over two years

* City of Delta: $22,500 over three years

* City of Richmond: $222,500 over three years

* Coastal Invasive Species Committee: $26,000 over two years

* Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society: $26,600 over two years

* Columbia Shuswap Regional district: $40,500 over three years

* Comox Valley Regional District: $37,500 over three years

* Ducks Unlimited Canada-Canards Illimités Canada: $600,000 over three years

* East Kootenay Invasive Species Council: $678,900 over three years

* Fraser Valley Invasive Species Society: $102,000 over two years

* Fraser Valley Regional District: $67,500 over three years

* Invasive Species Council of British Columbia Society: $657,500 over three years

* Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver: $66,000 over two years

* Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society: $83,000 over two years

* Northwest Invasive Plant Council: $596,000 over two years

* Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society: $162,600 over two years

* Peace River Regional District: $144,000 over three years

* Regional District of Central Okanagan: $40,500 over three years

* Regional District of East Kootenay: $69,000 over three years

* Regional District of Kootenay-Boundary: $127,500 over three years

* Regional District of Mount Waddington: $24,000 over three years

* Regional District of North Okanagan: $117,900 over three years

* Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen: $37,500 over three years

* Sea-to-Sky Invasive Species Council: $116,000 over two years

* The Corporation of the District of North Cowichan: $22,500 over three years

* The Nature Trust of British Columbia: $75,000 over three years

* Thompson Rivers University: $300,000 over three years

* Thompson-Nicola Regional District: $120,000 over three years

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