DAWSON CREEK – The provincial government is providing $46,900 to Peace River Regional District to help control the spread of invasive plants.

This is one 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.

“If we don’t work to stop the spread of invasive plants there will be direct negative economic impacts to our region and by working together we can combat them,” Peace River North MLA Pat Pimm said.

“Invasive plants can harm natural ecosystems and can cause both environmental and economic damage,” Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier said. “This funding will help the Peace River Regional District continue to prevent the spread of harmful plants.”

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: for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm