Provincial grants awarded to help fight invasive plants

Funds presented to two Fraser Valley groups

Orange hogweed is among the invasive plants in the Fraser Valley. Two recently awarded provincial grants will help control the spread of these plants.

Orange hogweed is among the invasive plants in the Fraser Valley. Two recently awarded provincial grants will help control the spread of these plants.

The provincial government is providing $50,000 to the Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council and $22,500 to the Fraser Valley Regional District to help control the spread of invasive plants throughout the Fraser Valley.

These are two of 31 grants, totalling $1.7 million, that are being distributed throughout the province in 2016 to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C.

This funding will assist with these groups’ ongoing activities and also support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.

The grants will be used to help raise public awareness of invasive plant concerns, survey invasive plant populations and actively treat high-priority sites to control the spread of these destructive plants.

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into B.C. from other areas.

They displace native vegetation and can cause considerable economic and environmental damage.

Some pose a health risk to people, and invasive plants can also disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

This funding is in addition to the $935,000 already allocated by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2016-17.