The provincial government is providing $204,000 to the Cariboo Regional District and $10,000 to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee to help control the spread of invasive plants, Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes announced today.

These are two of 29 grants, totalling $1,702,000, that 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.

“Invasive species are a growing concern all across B.C.,” says Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “They are destroying roads and buildings, harming livestock and wildlife, and dismantling out diverse ecosystems. They need to be stopped, and we all need to work together to achieve this goal.”

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 the spread of these plants.

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into British Columbia from other areas. They displace native vegetation and can cause considerable economic and environmental damage. Some pose a health risk to people (e.g. skin irritation). Invasive plants can disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

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 $735,000 already allocated by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2015-16.

To learn more Invasive Plant Program, visit: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm