PRINCE GEORGE – The provincial government is providing $295,000 to Northwest Invasive Plant Council to help control the spread of invasive plants Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris, Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad announced today.

“The spread of invasive plants is a major problem in our region and is a threat to farmers and ranchers,” Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris said. “This funding is helping manage the spread of invasive species.”

“Protecting native plants from invasive species is important, as invasive plants can cause lots of damage to the natural ecosystem,” Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said. “We must continue working to combat this issue. This funding provides support to the Northwest Invasive Plant Council to control the spread of invasive plants, reducing the impact of invasive species.”

“When invasive plants and species spread uncontrollably, the impacts are detrimental to farmers, ranchers and our pristine lakes,” Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad said. “This funding will support the ongoing battle to mitigate the spread of invasive species in northern B.C.”

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 their spread.

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into B.C. from other areas. They displace our native vegetation and can cause considerable economic and environmental damage, and pose a health risk. Invasive plants may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

The grant to Northwest Invasive Plant Council is one of 29, totalling $1.6 million, which 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.

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 $809,000 already earmarked by the provincial government for invasive plant control and management in the fiscal 2014-15 year.

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