Photo of orange hawkweed invasive species
Orange Hawkweed courtesy of www.ssisc.info
Photo of orange hawkweed invasive species
Orange Hawkweed courtesy of www.ssisc.info

Invasive Species

October 6, 2017: Click here to learn about the proposed Invasive Species Management & Control Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1541-2017, Alternative Approval Process and proposed Noxious Weeds Control Bylaw No. 1542-2017

An invasive species is any organism (plant, animal, fungus or bacterium) that is not native to a particular area and that has negative impacts on our health, environment or economy. Not all introduced species are considered invasive. Invasive plants and animals are the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss.

Invasive species are moving across British Columbia (and Canada) rapidly and at considerable cost to our environment, economy and society. Invasive species can alter habitats and disrupt essential ecosystem functions. Some invasives can also be toxic to animals and humans. 

Invasive plants specifically displace native vegetation by competing with native plants for water, nutrients and space. They can be introduced in a number of different ways, including improper disposal of garden plants, unintentional dispersal, or intentionally planting them. Invasive species can grown and spread quickly, and it can often be very difficult to control or eradicate once a species begins to spread. 

Once established, invasive plants can:  

  • reduce soil productivity
  • impact water quality and quantity
  • degrade range resources and wildlife habitat
  • threaten biodiversity
  • alter natural fire regimes
  • introduce diseases

In economic terms, according to Environment Canada, the annual cumulative lost revenue caused by just 16 invasive species is estimated between $13 to $15 billion. An estimated $7.5 billion in revenue is lost annually in the forestry and agriculture sectors alone due to invasive species. The Invasive Species Council of British Columbia has produced many technical reports concerning invasive species, and the corresponding environmental, social, and economic costs.

Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society (LRISS)

The Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society is a not-for-profit organization working to reduce and minimize the negative impacts of invasive species in the northern part of the SLRD. LRISS has an open and free membership that includes the general public, St’át’imc First Nations, local, regional and provincial governments, and both public and private land managers.

Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council (SSISC)

The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council is a not-for-profit society that works in cooperation with organizations, governments, and industry in the southern part of the SLRD to minimize the negative impacts caused by invasive species.

If you spot an invasive species in Electoral Area C or D or in Pemberton, Whistler or Squamish, you can report an invasive species sighting to the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council directly.

Report-A-Weed

It is important to recognize and report sightings of invasive species in order to catch them before they overwhelm entire ecosystems. If you see an invasive plant, please use the Province of BC’s Report-A-Weed system to report the sighting. Once completed, your report will be compared to known locations of the invasive plant species in the Invasive Alien Plant Program, and then it will be sent directly to an Invasive Plant Specialist in your area.

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