CKISS offered some in person invasive plant ID and management training to BC Parks Rangers at Beaver Creek Provincial Park last week. Physical distancing protocols were used. (Contributed)

Clearing out invasive species in the Kootenays

May was Invasive Species Month

For the fifth year in a row, May has been set aside as ‘Invasive Species Action Month” in order to get British Columbians active in preventing and stopping the spread of harmful invasive species.

Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) advises on actions everyone can take to prevent the spread of invasive species.

• Clean, drain, and dry your watercraft. The Kootenays has numerous pristine lakes and rivers to enjoy which provide endless recreation possibilities for people of all ages. Aquatic invasive species can act as hitchhikers and can latch themselves onto boats and gear.

• Play clean and go. Arrive at trail heads with clean boots/shoes, clothing and mountain bikes. While enjoying Kootenay trails invasive species can act as “hitchhikers” and latch onto shoes and gear.

• Be a responsible pet owner and never release unwanted aquarium pets or plants into the wild.

• Be plant wise. Choose native or non invasive plants for gardens. If invasive species are planted they can quickly spread from property to property as well as to natural areas.

• Properly dispose of invasive plants. This is free at regional landfills. Simply separate out the invasives and place them into a clear bag.

• Don’t move firewood. Small bugs, eggs and tree killing diseases can be hiding in firewood. Avoid putting Kootenay forests at risk by only using firewood that has been cut locally.

“Human behavior is the number one way that invasive species are introduced,” says Laurie Frankcom, CKISS education program coordinator.

“People spread them through the horticulture industry, the pet trade, moving firewood and by ‘hitchhiking’ on watercraft, clothing, vehicles and even your pet.”

The Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society is a non-profit society that was formed by a group of residents and company/agency representatives in 2005 who were interested in promoting collaborative approaches to invasive species management.

The society includes a network of partners collaborating to minimize the impacts of invasive species on the ecosystems, communities, and economy of the Regional District of Central Kootenay and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area A and B.

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