The provincial government is providing $20,000 to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to help manage invasive plants in the region, Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake announced today (March 29, 2017) in a press release.
Thirty-one grants, totalling $1.8 million, are being distributed throughout the province in 2017 to local governments, regional invasive species committees, environmental organizations and the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia. The funding will assist with their ongoing activities and also support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program, the release said.
The money will be used to help raise public awareness of invasive plant concerns, survey invasive plant populations and actively treat high-priority sites to control the spread of destructive plants.
Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into B.C. from other areas. They displace native vegetation and can cause considerable economic and environmental damage. Some pose a health risk to people (e.g., skin irritation) and others are toxic to animals.
Invasive plants can disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.
“It’s very important to take early action against the spread of invasive plant species,” said Lake. “They can have a devastating effect on both natural ecosystems and our agricultural industries, if left unchecked.”