The new Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society has been hard at work documenting and taking action on invasive species in the region. Thanks to support from BC Hydro, the City of Revelstoke and Joe Kozek’s Sawmills, visitors to the Greenbelt can now learn about priority invasive plants while out for a walk on the popular Greenbelt trail.
The new signage will help raise the profile of invasive plants in the community. When the snow line begins to creep down to the valley bottom, people often forget about the impacts invasive species have on our natural environment. Yet autumn is critical to prevent their spread as most plants have set seed by the end of the growing season. Improperly disposed of garden waste can lead to new infestations of invasive plants in otherwise undisturbed areas.
“While not all garden plants are invasive, it is better to err on the side of caution; bag and take all ornamentals and non-vegetable garden waste to the CSRD landfill when putting your garden to bed” says CSISS Coordinator, Natalie Stafl.
Prevention is key as it is often an up-hill battle with invasive species. Japanese knotweed, a bamboo-like plant widely planted as an ornamental, is notorious for being improperly disposed of. These invasive plants are aggressive and difficult to remove, damaging infrastructure and eroding riparian areas. New infestations of knotweed have been found at multiple illegal dump sites; a single node along the plant’s cane can sprout an entirely new plant and problem.
This fall, the CSISS held a series of operational planning meetings in Revelstoke, Salmon Arm and Golden to identify priority plants and develop a coordinated action plan to tackle new and aggressive invaders. Public workshops specifically targeting gardeners, nurseries and trails users are planned for the spring.
To learn more about invasive plants in our region or for more information on CSISS, please visit www.columbiashuswapinvasives.org or call 1-855-PUL-WEED toll free.
The society has also established a Public Engagement Committee. The board members on this committee are David Rooney of Revelstoke and John McLeod of Salmon Arm. We are seeking members of the public from Salmon Arm, Revelstoke and Golden and other nearby communities who are interested in joining this committee.