Tour will highlight regional invasive plant programs

The East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council will be putting on a tour of invasive plant treatment sites in the region later this month.

Have you wondered what programs are in place to deal with invasive plants and noxious weeds in the region?

If so, the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council will be offering a chance to get your questions answered, as it will be putting on a tour of invasive plant treatment sites in the region later this month.

The tour will showcase efforts by local industry to manage the invasive plant species, as well as share information and work being done on invasive plant solutions.

The public is invited to come out and see what East Kootenay industries are doing to combat invasive plants by taking the tour on Thursday, July 24.

Todd Larson, from the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council (EKIPC) said the issues with invasive plants are recognized as the second biggest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. Here in the East Kootenay, the invasive plants affect both animal forage plants, domestic and wild, as well as agricultural crops. Both are economic drivers in the region.

“Highlighted on the tour will be a Blueweed Trial that demonstrates the effectiveness of various herbicides and application rates on Blueweed,” noted Larson. “The results are timely and significant for the EKIPC, industry and private land owners as Blueweed is quickly becoming widespread in many areas of the East Kootenay.”

Blueweed is a regional noxious weed that invades rangelands, pastures, roadsides and idle areas, especially those of coarse, sandy and gravelly soils. It grows to a metre high and is named for its bluish flowers.

Pat Wray, Recreation and Control Services assistant at the Regional District, said this will be an interesting tour to see what kind of treatments industry will be doing.

“I think a lot of people would never have the opportunity to go up in those lands,” Wray said.

There will be an assortment of weeds in focus, not just Blueweed. That has been a real problem in the south country, so a Blueweed trial is set up in Elko. She said that study has had interesting results with different herbicides and finding the best time to apply them.

The Plant Council is made up of both government and non-government affiliates. Larson said the diverse mix allows for partnerships to be brought to the table which play a critical role in reducing and controlling invasive plant species. He noted the East Kootenay resource sector is a part of the partnership. The tour will feature a number of industry partner operators in the area, including Teck and Fortis BC.

The tour will leave from Tamarack Mall in Cranbrook at 8 a.m. and return by 4 p.m. on July 24. The cost is $15 per person and includes lunch and transportation. This day trip will be both informative and encouraging for those who are set to do battle against invasive species. Please contact Todd Larsen at coordinator@ekipc.com or 1-888-553-5472 to reserve a seat.

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