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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, animals and other organisms 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, two strategic documents provide the framework for a province-wide approach to managing invasive species. The “Invasive Species Strategy for British Columbia: 2018-2022 [PDF]” was created by a wide variety of stakeholder groups across the province and identifies seven pillars to fulfill its vision of “British Columbia’s citizens, ecosystems and resources are protected from invasive species impacts.” The second strategy is the “BC Government Invasive Species Strategic Plan,” prepared by a cross-agency provincial government committee called the Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group.
How does BC Parks Manage Invasive Species?
BC Parks strategically manages invasive species to effectively maintain or improve natural, cultural and recreational values by preventing and/or minimizing invasive species impacts in BC’s provincial parks and protected areas.
We are guided by 4 goals:
- Prevent the spread and establishment of new invasive species infestations that will impact park values
- Conduct inventory to detect new high-risk invasive species infestations and manage established infestations in parks and protected areas, and ensure data are current and accessible
- Minimize and reduce impacts of invasive species found in provincial parks and protected areas on park values by conducting active management and restoration at key sites following our defined priority process
- Ensure a coordinated and partnership approach to invasive species management to more effectively and efficiently implement the program
BC Parks Invasive Species Management Resources
BC Parks worked together with the BC Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group to develop an introductory training on invasive species prevention and management. Access the online training.
The goal of the training course is to increase the awareness and implementation of responsible actions related to invasive species prevention and management by government staff, contractors, and volunteers working on provincial public lands. It is publicly available to benefit all and as a park user, we encourage you to take it.
This training provides valuable information and learning for implementing best practices for invasive species management and prevention in our parks and protected areas and beyond.
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.
What other programs facilitate BC Parks’ Invasive Species Management?
BC Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group
Since 2004, the BC 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 BC 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 that is a dynamic, action-oriented organization, helping concerned stakeholders work together to stop the spread of invasive species in BC. ISCBC spearheads behaviour change in communities, organizations, governments and industry and provides educational resources and training to help protect our province from invasive species.
Regional Invasive Species Committees
In BC, 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.