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Work begins on treating invasive Japanese knotweed on public land in Sea to Sky corridor

Herbicide glyphosate to be used on weed that can choke rivers, displace natural plants

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The time required for the chemical to dissipate by half ranges from days to a few weeks depending on soil and climatic conditions.

In March, the SSISC announced a pilot program that will rebate up to half the cost of removing two particularly troublesome species or between $500 to $1,000, depending on the size of the property and sensitivity of the location. The deadline passed earlier in June.

Swerhun said they were now working with homeowners from the lower reaches of the Sea to Sky region through to Pemberton.

"We have about 16 homeowners involved in the program, equally shared by dealing with outbreaks of hogweed in Britannia Beach and Japanese knotweed throughout the region," she said.

In one case, in Pemberton, the SSISC was helping a homeowner whose Japanese knotweed problem had moved a septic tank, Swerhun said.

"This round of funding is finished but if anyone is interested we can get them on a waitlist to show our funders there is a need to continue the program," she added.

The SSISC can respond to questions at ssinvasives@gmail.com.

The organization has also just completed the second year of its Invasive-free Certification program for the horticulture industry, the first of its kind in B.C.

Theb program grew out of a horticulture forum hosted by the SSISC in November of 2010, where there was feedback from the industry that there was generally a lack of education on invasive species and their significant threats. The goal of its program is to integrate targeted invasive species management into the practices of horticulture and landscape companies serving the Sea to Sky corridor, and recognize those companies that are making a difference. Training was provided to participating companies on species recognition and procurement practices, site and species appropriate control methods and disposal practices.

The program this year involved over 60 participants representing 15 different companies. Look for Invasive-free Certified sticker on their vehicles and places of business.

"The SSISC salutes the companies that have volunteered to take part in the program," said Swerhun adding a big thanks you to the Community Foundation of Whistler for funding.

"They are making a difference as we all work together to address this important issue."

Meanwhile the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. have announced plans to collaborate on a five-year plan to tackle invasive species through the province.

"The provincial government recognizes the potential dangers posed by invasive plant and animal species, and this strategy provides a comprehensive approach for dealing effectively with those threats," said minister Steve Thomson recently. "We appreciate the contributions made by all of the agencies and individuals involved in this project."