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A Strategic Overview for Invasive Species Management in BC Parks
What is an invasive species?
Invasive species pose a threat to our native environment and are recognized globally as the second greatest threat to biodiversity. Invasive species are plants and animals that do not occur naturally in ecosystems in British Columbia and their presence can harm our environment, economy and even our health. These non-native or alien invasive species reproduce rapidly, are resilient and can overwhelm existing native species.
Does the BC Government have an Invasive Species Strategic Plan?
Yes, the “Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia: 2018-2022 [PDF]” identifies seven pillars to fulfill its vision of “British Columbia’s citizens, ecosystems and resources are protected from invasive species impacts”. These pillars are:
- Establish and Enforce Effective Regulatory Tools
- Strengthen Collaboration
- Prevent Introduction and Spread
- Implement Effective Control, Restoration, and Monitoring Programs
- Support and Extend Relevant and Applicable Research
- Provide Stable, Long-Term Funding
- Promote Action through Communication and Education
BC Parks Invasive Species Management Resources
BC Parks and the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) offer an online training course for BC Parks Staff, Volunteers and Contractors.
Best Management Practices Handbook
This guide provides best management practice advice for various activities in parks and protected areas and provides species profiles for over 60 priority invasive plants.
BC Parks Strategic Plan
“Invasive Plants in British Columbia Protected Lands: A Strategic Plan [PDF]” (2006) was developed to guide actions for invasive plant management in BC Parks.
What other programs facilitate BC Parks’ Invasive Species Management?
Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group
Since 2004, the Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group (IMISWG) has provided policy direction, and coordination and collaborative delivery of provincial invasive species programs for the Province of BC. Several land-based ministries have responsibility for noxious weed and invasive plant management, including Ministries of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Transportation and Infrastructure and Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. The IMISWG functions to bring together provincial ministries and agencies, each with unique mandates, program goals and technical expertise.
Invasive Alien Plant Program
Invasive Alien Plant Program (IAPP) is the database for invasive plant data in B.C. It is intended to co-ordinate/share information generated by various agencies and non-government organizations involved in invasive plant management. The database is managed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. The application allows the entry, editing and querying of invasive plant information including: site details; invasive plant inventory information; planning; treatment methods and data; and, monitoring data. All survey and treatment data collected by BC Parks is tracked in IAPP.
Invasive Species Council of British Columbia
The Invasive Species Council of British Columbia (ISCBC) is a registered, non-profit charity whose members are involved in all aspects of invasive species management. Members include technical specialists working for government and industry, regional committee coordinators, First Nations representatives, foresters, forest technologists, biologists, ranchers, horticulturists, recreation enthusiasts, gardeners, and other concerned individuals. Membership is open to everyone willing to work collaboratively.
Regional Invasive Species Committees
In B.C., there are several independent Regional Invasive Species Committees located across the province that work on invasive species management in a variety of capacities. The Invasive Species Council of BC collaborates with regional committees to jointly deliver on a diversity of projects, special programs, and on-the-ground activities. These committees provide a great resource of local information for land managers and the public.