PRINCE GEORGE – The provincial government is providing $297,500 to the Northwest Invasive Plant Council to help control the spread of invasive plants.

This is one of 29 grants, totalling $1,702,000, that are being distributed province-wide to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to assist with their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.

“Combatting invasive plant species is a critical initiative,” Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said. “This funding will ensure that the efforts to reduce impacts on our environment, ecosystem and economy continue.”

“Reducing the impact of invasive species is necessary to preserve and enhance the unique ecosystems we have in our region,” Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad said. “This is a collaborative way to fight harmful plants.”

“Our government is committed to conserving wildlife habitat from exposure to unnecessary risk of invasive non-native species,” Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris said.

The funding will be invested in activities such as raising public awareness of invasive plants, surveying invasive plant populations and actively treating high-priority sites to control the spread of these plants.

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into British Columbia 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). Invasive plants can disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

The Invasive Plant Program identifies sites where invasive plant species have been found and responds rapidly to contain and eradicate them before they become established and start spreading.

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.

To learn more Invasive Plant Program, visit: for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm.