The Field Operations team is on the ground conducting invasive species management across the East Kootenay. EKISC uses a coordinated approach, integrating all of the tools we have at our disposal to prevent the movement of new invasive species into our region, and slow the spread of species that have already been established.
It is essential that we know the density and distribution of invasive species across the landscape if we are going to manage them effectively and efficiently. We conduct invasive plant inventories in land parcels across the region. Typically, they are cursory style inventories, focusing on vectors of spread like roads, trails, and disturbed areas. All of the information we collect during an inventory is uploaded to a provincial database to be used by land managers when creating invasive species management plans and setting site specific goals and objectives.
Treatment & Control.
EKISC uses four methods to control established invasive species in the East Kootenay: mechanical, chemical, cultural, and biological. The decision to use one over another depends on several factors that can include; cost, site specifics, size of infestation, type of invasive plant, and management goals and objectives. The most effective strategy usually involves a combination of methods, consistent with Integrated Pest Management principles.
The careful application of herbicides to disrupt growth and destroy invasive plants.
Monitoring is an essential component in an integrated pest management plan. EKISC monitors 10% of all treatments that occur in the region, evaluating their efficiency and effectiveness. We also uphold the regulations laid out in the Weed Control Act to ensure that all treatments are targeting invasive species and not doing undo harm to fragile ecosystems. We use our monitoring results to dictate future treatment recommendations, making sure that we are continuing to have a positive impact on the diverse ecosystems of the East Kootenay.
Established: Site-Specific Approach or Biocontrol
These are widespread species that are beyond landscape-level control and/or have relatively low impact.
Land managers may choose to treat these species at high priority sites (i.e. wildlife habitat, restoration sites, etc.) based on specific land management objectives.
Some of these species have biological control agents available.
These species are abundant (with no expectation of eradication) in certain portions of the IPMA but have limited distribution in other portions.
Management efforts are delineated by containment lines which may be based on geographic (i.e. a specific region) or jurisdictional boundaries (i.e. private land).
Some of these species have biocontrol agents available (in BC) which may be useful within the containment line.
There is insufficient information for recommended control efforts for these species. Further research is required in order to determine their distribution, impacts, potential for spread and/or feasibility of control.
The first step in any invasive species management plan is to complete an inventory. Knowing what invasive species exist and where they are located are essential when setting priorities for taking action. All invasive species inventory collection across British Columbia is submitted to a public database – the Invasive Alien Plant Program (IAPP). This is why the Report Invasives App is so important to our work.
The IAPP database contains invasive plant surveys, treatments, and activity plans for the entire province of BC. The comprehensive data in IAPP is entered by a wide variety of user groups (ministries, regional districts, weed committees, forest licensees, utilities, conservation groups, federal departments and others) on an ongoing basis. The data can be queried on a large number of criteria, using one or more of the 11 'canned' queries. In addition, data managers may run and print any one of the 5 activity summary reports.
Access to the data in IAPP is password-restricted to authorized users. To apply for access, see the information at this link here.
EKISC invasive plant categories reflect the risk of spread and threat to RDEK resources. EKISC has five levels of classification for priority species and sites.
0*, 0, 1**, 1
0 - Prevention Watchlist
High-threat species that may not currently be in the East Kootenay, or may not be in a certain EK IMPA. Focus for these species is prevention, education and awareness
If found -Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) action and reporting protocols are used.
1 - Regional EDRR or Eradication
Brand new incursions or very limited (less than 10 sites) high-threat incursions. . The management objective for these species within the IPMA is eradication.
These species are known in the IPMA but with limited distribution. These species may have been present for a relatively long period.
The management objective is to monitor and treat species to decrease further spread.