Invasive Plants in the Northwest
Invasive plants are a large threat to bio diversity in British Columbia and other parts of the country. When an invasive weed comes in it can cause harm to animals and kill native plants to the area. The Northwest Invasive Plant Council is working hard to protect the north-western parts of BC
Plants are invading backyards, trails and many other areas in BC. Some can even be aesthetically pleasing, but despite a pretty flower for many working for the Northwest Invasive Plant Council they want the public to report any unknown plant species. NWIPC Program Manager Andrea Eastham explains, “Not directly like being toxic but the problem with the ones like Tansies, spotted knapweed and things like that... They eliminate all the native vegetation and they're not good forage for cattle, domestic live stocks or wildlife and so they are losing their habitat, basically there is not enough food for them to eat.”
Invasive plants can spread many ways through tourist, animals and equipment. Mayor Taylor Bachrach thinks that’s why it’s important to have group such as the NWIPC, “Especially since we have increased trade within the region and we have economically development in the north the number of trains coming through there is the potential for increased transportation of invasive plant species and it’s something to be on the watch for and it's good to see that this group is doing the important work that they are doing.”
Residents need to be cautious in dealing with an invasive plant, to wear gloves and dispose of the plant properly. NWIPC employee Steven Kiiskila explains, “One thing is some people with good intentions will pull some weeds and put them in their compost and some of these weeds seeds will survive and then we are spreading it further throughout the country side... so the proper way is you want to put the weed in a heavy grey constructors garbage bag or if its dry burn them."
If someone comes across a plant they don't recognize there is a 'Report a Weed' phone app where they can send in a picture and description of where the plant is or they can call the NWIPC hot line at 1 866 44 WEEDS.