Last week at the regular meeting of City Council, Todd Larsen, Program Manager for the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council explained his program and how Kimberley was doing in controlling invasive species.
There are some success stories in Kimberley, Larsen said, including:
Many residents are aware of the impacts and management options for invasives.
Private landowner support with cost-sharing rebates through RDEK/EKIPC Neighbourhood Invasive Plant Program (NIPP)
Education to City of Kimberley staff in 2014 by Cailey Chase with Best Management Practices
EKIPC weed info in resident utility bills 2014
Community Weed Pulls: Kimberley Independent School last three years along the Rails to Trails, and;
City of Kimberley support for innovative programs such as a goat grazing pilot program with CBT.
However, there are challenges as well, Larsen said.
Kimberley is one of the worst municipalities in the RDEK in terms of number of weed sites, variety of weed species, insufficient budget, and lack of plan.
Neighbouring land managers vary in comparison. Teck lands are well managed, Kimberley Alpine Resort is not.
Private landowners are frustrated when they control weeds, but have constant spread from City of Kimberley properties. Who manages weeds in alleys?
2014 budget: $16,000. No plan was in place to manage weeds, complaint driven.
Cosmetic pesticide bylaw may create confusion amongst residents, but does not affect noxious weed control.
Larsen made the following recommendations:
ICoun. Bev Middlebrook asked Larsen how much money is required if $16,000 is not enough.
Larsen said about 60 per cent more was required. He also said a full plan for dealing with invasive weeds was needed.
“We know where all the big pockets of weeds are in Kimberley, it’s just money to get them.”