Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Invasive Plant Council British Columbia

May 12, 2009 – Reporting Invasive Plants in BC communities has never been easier—just dial 1-888-WEEDSBC. It’s never been easier to report invasive plants! The Invasive Plant Council of BC is pleased to announce the establishment of a provincial toll free hotline, 1-888-WEEDSBC, to which callers can report invasive plants and make a difference in their community. A member of the Invasive Plant Council team will receive calls and answer questions about invasive plants, how to identify specific species, and offer contacts for regional invasive plant committees and local resources. Use of the provincial hotline is open to all members of the public, and is part of “Eyes Across BC,” an outreach and awareness initiative partnered by the Invasive Plant Council of BC and the Agriculture Environment and Wildlife Fund. Eyes Across BC programs involve reporting invasive plants through the hotline, and training workshops where participants can become informed “spotters” of invasive plants. These programs are FREE! Please call 1-888-WEEDSBC to find out how to get involved in local efforts to stop the spread of invasive plants. Invasive plants are the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss, and can cause damage to the environment, economy and human health. Having been introduced without their natural pests and predators, these unwanted plants can form dense infestations, displacing native species and disrupting natural ecological processes. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, there are an estimated 485 invasive plant species in Canada, and weeds in crops and pastures alone cost approximately $2.2 billion annually. In BC, farmers and ranchers lose an estimated $50 million in crop revenue each year, and then pay millions more in control measures. Impacts associated with the introduction and spread of invasive plants are not unique to one industry, organization, or community – all citizens, regions, and industries in BC are affected. Help your community protect local resources by managing invasive plants. To find out more about invasive plants in your area or to seek alternative plants, visit www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca or phone 1-888-WEEDSBC.
The IPCBC is a grassroots, non-profit society working collaboratively to build cooperation and coordination of invasive plant management in BC. IPCBC workshops, activities, and events educate the public and professionals about invasive plants and their potential risks. This toll free hotline will continue to assist the IPCBC in “spreading the word, not the weed” through outreach and education; thus minimizing the establishment of invasive plants. Membership is free and open to anyone willing to work collaboratively. Find out more at www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca . For more information, contact the Invasive Plant Council of BC (IPCBC):www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca • (250) 392-1400 • 1-888-WEEDSBC • info@invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca

Gail Lucier
Program Assistant
Fraser Basin Council

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