KELOWNA – The provincial government is providing $10,500 to the Regional District of Central Okanagan to control the spread of invasive plants.

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

Invasive plants are not native to a particular ecosystem and have the potential to displace long-established species. They can cause considerable economic and environmental damage. Invasive plants may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

This is part of 28 grants being given provincewide to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to assist their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program. This funding is in addition to the $534,000 already earmarked by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2013/14.

Quotes:

“As Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, I’m proud of our government’s on-going commitment to control the spread of invasive species. Invasive plants can have a devastating impact on the local ecosystem, so it’s important we continue to support regional efforts such as these.”

–          Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission

“As a lifelong Okanagan farmer, I know the impact on agriculture and additional costs to farmers if invasive plants are left unchecked. I’m glad to see our government continue to offer much-needed financial support to protect our local ecosystem.”

–          Ben Stewart, MLA for Westside-Kelowna

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