As a realtor, developer, city planner, or homeowner it is important to recognize potentially damaging invasive species and understand the complications they can bring to your land.
In British Columbia, land occupiers are mandated by law to control noxious species that occur on their property.
Soil deposition bylaws vary between jurisdictions. Soil contaminated with invasive plant or animals (seeds, fire ants, or fragments of knotweed) can be considered as contaminated waste and may be subject to soil deposition bylaws which regulate the movement and safe disposal of contaminated waste. The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) has created a presentation regarding invasive species contaminating soil.
When selling a property, a property disclosure statement is required. There is an ethical duty to be forthcoming about damaging invasive plants infesting property for sale. Be aware that many invasive plants can be invisible during the winter, existing only as roots or seeds in the soil.
Many properties are covered by covenants that regulate various aspects of property management. Knotweeds and other invasive plants can cause damage that may lead to civil action.
The Invasive Species Property Assessment checklist provides the steps to protect REALTORS® and their clients on invasive-impacted properties.
If you have concerns or suspect an invasive species-related issues consult local bylaw enforcement for records
or the regional invasive species organization for further information.
The BC Weed Control Act designates a list of invasive plants as ‘noxious weeds’ at the regional and provincial level. In British Columbia, land occupiers are mandated by law to control noxious species that occur on their property.
Municipalities have the authority to regulate the use of pesticides that are used to maintain grass, outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers and other ornamental plants. Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaws vary between jurisdictions and are put in place to prevent the overuse of pesticides for purely cosmetic reasons. Noxious or invasive plants are generally exempt from these bylaws, but refer to your local municipal bylaws to ensure compliance before treatment.
NEIGHBOURHOOD INVASIVE PLAN PROGRAM.
The RDEK has developed the Neighbourhood Invasive Plant Program to provide landowners/occupiers with the guidance, resources and in some cases financial support to manage priority invasive plant on private lands.
The program provides five unique program options to support private landowners/occupiers including:
Sprayer Loan Out - Backpack sprayers are loaned out to treat priority invasive plant species on private land. A $100 cash damage deposit (fully refundable) is required for use of equipment. Landowners/occupiers are responsible for the purchase and application of herbicide. This service is offered annually to all applicants.
New Invader Rebate - Landowners/occupiers who have new invasive plant species as identified on the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council’s (EKISC) Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) list can apply to be reimbursed 100% of the treatment costs incurred from a licensed herbicide applicator or from the purchase of herbicide. This rebate is offered for the initial year of treatment.
Cost Share Rebate - Landowners/occupiers that have priority invasive plant species can apply to be reimbursed 50% of the treatment costs incurred from a contractor (herbicide, goats etc.) or from the purchase or invasive plant control equipment (backpack sprayer etc.) up to a maximum of $500. This rebate is offered to new applicants for the initial year of treatment.
Herbicide Rebate - Landowners/occupiers can apply to be reimbursed 50% of herbicide purchase, up to a maximum of $500, provided priority invasive plant species are being treated. This rebate is offered to new applicants for the initial year of treatment.
Guidance/Resources - All landowners/occupiers are eligible to receive a free on-site inspection and invasive plant management plan. Printed materials are also provided. This service is offered annually to all applicants (subject to the RDEK Recreation and Control Services Supervisors’ availability).