VICTORIA - The provincial government, the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia, federal agencies and community organizations have developed a five-year plan to enhance and co-ordinate invasive species management throughout B.C.
The Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia provides a comprehensive framework for the effective management of invasive species in B.C. A provincial action plan is now under development and the province is also reviewing existing legislation related to invasive species.
An invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to a particular ecosystem and has the potential to damage or displace native species in that area. They can disrupt natural habitats, reduce biodiversity and cause considerable economic and environmental damage.
Invasive species are a growing concern in B.C., since they can become established quickly and can spread rapidly if left unchecked. The Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia includes recommendations related to the control of problem species, habitat restoration, monitoring programs, regulation and policy, funding and research.
Development of the Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia was co-ordinated through the Invasive Species Council of B.C., with input and financial support from Environment Canada (through the Invasive Alien Species Partnership Program), the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C. (through joint-funding delivered on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Ministry of Agriculture), the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Over 100 people from a broad range of organizations, businesses, educational institutions and non-governmental agencies contributed their expertise to create the strategy. Interested residents of numerous B.C. communities also provided ideas and feedback.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -
"The provincial government recognizes the potential dangers posed by invasive plant and animal species, and this strategy provides a comprehensive approach for dealing effectively with those threats. We appreciate the contributions made by all of the agencies and individuals involved in this project."
Minister of Environment Terry Lake -
"This government is committed to preserving and protecting important wildlife habitats and ecosystems. We are taking proactive, preventive measures to deal with invasive plant and animal species and limit their spread."
Tom Wells, chair of the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia -
"The Invasive Species Council of British Columbia has a long history of working with all levels of government, industry and B.C. communities to reduce the threat of invasive species. This strategy offers a road map to continue that important work in the future."
- Invasive plants currently being targeted in B.C. include: non-native hawkweeds; garlic mustard; cordgrass; knotweed; knapweed; giant hogweed; black henbane; blueweed; common tansy; tansy ragwort; hoary alyssum; field scabious; leafy spurge; purple loosestrife; yellow flag iris; Himalayan balsam; and Scotch broom.
- Invasive animal species in the province include: American bullfrog; Norway rat; eastern grey squirrel; European cottontail rabbit; snakehead fish; common carp; yellow perch; crayfish; and small-mouth bass.
Invasive Species Council of British Columbia: http://www.bcinvasives.ca
Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia can be downloaded from the "Special Highlights" section of the ISCBC website at: http://www.bcinvasives.ca/special-events/invasive-species-strategy-for-bc
A photo of Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson with Invasive Species Council of British Columbia chair Tom Wells is available on the ministry's Flickr page at: http://flic.kr/p/cett93
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
250 356-5261 (Victoria)
Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
250 305-1003 (Williams Lake)