Play, Clean Go!
Invasive species are great hitchhikers! The East Kootenay is a place where many people come to enjoy the great outdoors and get a glimpse of some of our most precious wild areas. We are susceptible threats from invasive species coming from other areas such as the Alberta, United States and internationally. Some of the easiest ways for these species to get around is by attaching themselves to out vehicles and gear.
Play, Clean, Go! encourages you to 'come clean and leave clean' when you're travelling from one area to another.
What Can You Do?
The ideas apply to many different recreational activities whether you're hiking, horseback riding, ATVing, camping, hunting, biking, or just out for a stroll:
1. Come clean
Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.
2. Buy it Where you Burn it - Use only local or certified firewood
Before camping, check for any firewood restrictions at your intended campsite. Shop ahead of time to locate a source of firewood near your campsite. Burn all of the wood you bring or leave it with the campsite host. Learn more about Buy it Where you Burn it—Don't Move Firewood
3. Use weed-free or certified hay
Use weed-free hay when horseback riding or using hay for other purposes. When using hay for other purposes and weed-free hay is not available, use straw because it is less likely to carry weed seeds.
4. Stay on designated trails
Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, biking, or riding your horse or OHV.
5. Leave clean
Before leaving your campsite, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs. Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you or your belongings. Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home. Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.
DID YOU KNOW
With its sharp, thorny burs that pierce tires, paws, and shoes, PUNCTUREVINE IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF BICYCLE FLAT TIRES. It is an annual weed typically found in sunny, dry areas. Usually flat, the stems can be nearly erect where growing in competition for light.
Find out more here
Buy It Where You Burn It!
Although EKISC does not directly manage insect invaders, we like to pass on the knowledge.
Our forests are threatened by non-native insects that can kill large numbers of trees, and new infestations of tree-killing insects and diseases are often first found in campgrounds and parks. Two examples of introduced insects — emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle — are wood-infesting species that can be transported long distances in firewood. Once transported into new areas, these insects can become established and kill local trees. One of the most important things we can do to protect trees is stop moving invasive pests and diseases to new areas on firewood.