Sponsors: Cariboo Regional District
Endorsed by the NCLGA and UBCM Memberships
WHEREAS the continuing spread of invasive plant species across BC and Canada is significantly impacting much of our agricultural and environmental resources;
AND WHEREAS Local Governments are allocating resources to the control and eradication of invasive plant species at a substantial financial cost; however, invasive plants and seeds continue to be sold in nurseries, catalogues and via the Internet;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NCLGA and UBCM lobby the Provincial and Federal Governments to develop a strategy to prohibit the sale of invasive plant species and their seeds.
The UBCM membership endorsed resolution 2008-B71, which called for federal and provincial government assistance in preventing the sales of invasive plant species and their seeds.
The provincial government, in response to the resolution, highlighted a partnership initiative with the Invasive Plant Council of BC to develop and implement a comprehensive approach to prevent the sale and trade of invasive plants. The Province also noted that existing provincial legislation enables the provincial government, communities and local governments to regulate and enforce control of certain existing noxious weeds and other invasive plants.
The federal government in response to the resolution indicated that the CFIA was in the process of developing a policy to address plant taxa of concern to Canada - including invasive plants. At the same time, the CFIA had begun development of a Canadian invasive plant framework, including establishment of a national invasive plant program. The federal government said that it would consult with local government on the development of the invasive plant framework.
Many Regional Districts and municipalities have growing Invasive Plant Management programs. Some vendors within the horticultural industry are currently selling and distributing provincially and/or regionally legislated invasive seeds and plants. The plants have been designated as invasive species as a result of their ability to out-compete native vegetation, causing reductions in plant diversity as well as reductions in habitat quality and quantity for wildlife, livestock, and aquatic species.
Additionally, invasive/noxious plants affect water quality and quantity, soil quality, forage and crop production. The Province of British Columbia supports a diverse range of ecosystems and is home to a variety of cultural, agricultural, industrial, and recreational enterprises that are currently, or will be negatively affected by invasive plants. Preventing the introduction of invasive plants is critical, once established, control becomes difficult, costly, and eradication is often impossible. The sale and distribution of invasive plant material is in direct contravention of province-wide management efforts.