Knapweed is just one of the species invading the Okanagan Valley that a new website is aimed at helping manage. File photo

Invasive species battle goes online

Invasive species website creates a one-stop shop for Okanagan’s agricultural sector

  • Jun. 28, 2018 11:59 a.m.

There is a new resource available for those trying to deal with invasive species in the Okanagan.

From mussels to plants and insects, invasive species can be a challenge for Okanagan farmers, viticulturists, orchardists and ranchers. The zebra and quagga mussels, though they haven’t worked their way into B.C. yet, can threaten irrigation infrastructure. Insects cause problem for growers and invasive plant species can crowd out native plants in already threatened ecosystems.

The Okanagan Invasive Species Online website (www.oiso.ca) was officially launched earlier this month at the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society’s (OASISS) AGM in Penticton.

Related: Province issues funds to combat invasive plants

The site makes information on local invasive species available in one place and accessible easily over phone or computer. It’s the first time the Okanagan Valley will have a centralized system to share information about invasive species identification and management, and it is now available to producers and the general public.

A range of human activities already make management of invasive species an ongoing issue, but climate change is expected to further alter the dynamics of invasive and native species.

“I think most of us do appreciate that the climate is changing,” said Keith Manders, an Okanagan rancher and member of the project oversight committee. He points to the frequency of extreme weather events like flooding, drought and fire over the past few years as examples.

“I think these weather extremes are going to promote the growth of, and allow for the introduction of, species that we have not seen as the new conditions will provide the invaders with a welcoming environment.”

Invasive species in the Okanagan are monitored and managed by the three Okanagan Regional Districts, along with non-profit organizations like OASISS, which led the project to build the site, with federal and provincial funding through the B.C. Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative.

“Invasive species do not recognize jurisdictional boundaries so it made sense to collaborate with all three regional districts to unify our programs,” said Lisa Scott, OASISS executive director.

The site is designed for the agriculture sector and allows producers to search by commodity, or by regional district to find species of concern. It also helps users connect with an expert in their area who can assist with identification and treatment options.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Reality show filming in South Okanagan is looking for participants

A real estate reality show is looking for homeowners and realtors to participate

Slackcountry Cup competitors shred the unshredded on Okanagan ski hill

The fifth year of the competition on the slopes of Baldy Mountain is this weekend.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sunny days ahead

It’s beginning to feel like spring in Kelowna

Okanagan Cat Coalition asks for help from community

The coalition has lost over half its inventory of traps

Temperatures on the rise for the Okanagan Valley

Okanagan-Shuswap weekday weather update

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Kelowna DJs organize own shows to fill gap in music scene

The DJs wanted to create somewhere people could enjoy their music safely

In Photos: Classic snowmobiles pushed to their limits in fun races

The Burner in Malakwa served as the venue for races show cases older sleds

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Most Read