RDKB and BISS get over $76k from province

By Contributor
May 9th, 2014

The provincial government is providing $76,100 to help control the spread of invasive plants. The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) will receive $40,500 and Boundary Invasive Species Society (BISS) will receive $33,600.

“If serious steps are not taken to stop the spread of invasive plants there will be direct negative economic affects to our local Tourism and Agriculture,” Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson said. “I commend the organizations and volunteers who have taken on this difficult task and know they will make the best possible use of this funding.”

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.

“I would like to sincerely thank the province for its continued support of this vital program. Controlling and keeping out invasive species is essential to all citizens of British Columbia. This money will help to keep our local initiatives going strong,” said Bill Baird, Director West Boundary Electoral Area, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

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 some pose a health risk to people. Invasive plants may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

The grants to the RDKB and the BISS are two 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.

— submitted

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