The B.C. government is distributing more than $1.7 million in grant money to help control the spread of invasive plant species around the province.

The money will be divvied up into 29 grants and given to regional invasive species committees, local governments and the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia. This funding is in addition to the $735,000 already allocated by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2015-16.

“Our government is committed to conserving habitat, supporting British Columbia’s ranching and agriculture industries, and restricting the spread of harmful non-native species in British Columbia,” says Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

“These Invasive Plant Program grants help local governments and regional organizations identify incursions of invasive plants and treat them effectively to limit any damage they may cause in the future.”

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into British Columbia from other areas. They displace native vegetation, can cause significant economic and environmental damage, and may pose health risks to people and animals. Invasive plants can disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

“The Invasive Species Council of B.C. believes that all British Columbians need to play a role to prevent invasive species from impacting our communities, so we value the support that the provincial government provides to our partners and other groups,” says Barry Gibbs, chair of the Invasive Species Council of British Columbia.

“These funds will help many organizations stop the harm that invasive species cause in ecosystems. We value the collaborative approach that helps us work together to prevent and control the spread of invasive species.”

Local areas sharing in the funding include:

  • Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society: $71,300
  • Regional District of Central Okanagan: $13,000
  • Regional District of North Okanagan: $34,400
  • Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen: $14,500
  • Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society: $14,000
  • Columbia Shuswap Regional District: $10,000
  • Southern Interior Weed Management Committee: $130,000
  • Thompson-Nicola Regional District: $22,000