The provincial government’s is recently announced funding of over $1.6 million in new grants to control the spread of invasive plants includes a grant to the Okanagan Similkameen Invasive Species Society that is $2,500 less than what the society received last year.
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced Friday, May 9 that 29 grants are being given to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to assist their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program. This funding is in addition to the $809,000 already earmarked by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2014-15.
The Regional District Okanagan Similkameen will be receiving $15,000, similar to last year’s funding. Doug French, Public Works Manager for the regional district said the RDOS works in conjunction with OASISS to distribute invasive species funding throughout the regional district.
The Okanagan Similkameen Invasive Species Society was granted $63,300.
Lisa Scott, Okanagan Similkameen Invasive Plant Society Coordinator said the organization will be focusing on the following strategies in the Lower Similkameen:
– monitoring and treatment of puncturevine (not applying the MFLNRO funds however)
– surveys and treatment of other target species including (but not necessarily limited to): hoary alyssum, common bugloss, leafy spurge, sulphur cinquefoil
– releases of biological control agents (natural insect enemies)
– distribution of extension materials
– articles in local paper
– assistance to private landowners (plant ID, technical advice), upon request
– attendance at community events
– presentations to schools and local groups, upon request