AVICC passes resolution to clear broom

Broom cuts starting in next few weeks

Joanne Sales said that while broombusters are out there cleaning the broom, it’s the Town of Qualicum Beach that has the vision of how to make the initiative go Island-wide through the municipalities.

At Monday’s (April 10) Qualicum Beach council meeting, Coun. Neil Horner said a resolution regarding scotch broom was passed at the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC) on Sunday (April 9) .

Horner said AVICC passed the resolution to “call on the province to work with Vancouver Island local governments and community groups to effectively clear scotch broom from highways, rail lines, and power line right of ways in the next three years.”

Sales, director of Broombusters Invasive Plant Society, said the society teamed with the Coastal Invasive Species Committee on a joint presentation to the annual AVICC convention in Campbell River on Sunday.

Sales said that although broombusters are working with many municipalities on the Island from Duncan to Campbell River, Qualicum Beach has taken the initiative to go to the AVICC.

To Sales, the resolution means really focusing on the removal of broom in the area in the next three years.

“I think it was to say let this be a focal point and turn it around,” Sales said. “Broom is spreading without any control.”

Because broom has become advanced in so many places, Sales said, some committee members felt that they couldn’t do anything about it, so they just let it go.

Sales said the goal is to not just let it go, but to take those three years and focus on clearing it. She added that it took 10 years to clear broom from Qualicum Beach.

“Broom shows up, kind of like trash,” Sales said “It’s not like it’s coming back like it was if you go out and clean up… If a whole field was covered with broom for a few years, a couple more will come up (after clearing)… We can’t ignore the fact that scotch broom seed has been there.”

However in some areas, Sales said, not more than a touch-up is needed.

“Most areas there is just a little bit of broom,” she said. “We’re having a hard time to find places for community cuts in Qualicum Beach.”

Now the number of volunteers is expanding, said Sales. She said one volunteer is taking Highway 19A along the water, while others are heading into Coombs.

“Volunteers aren’t stopping, they’re just moving onto other areas.”

Sales said broom cuts will be starting up in the next few weeks with one on May 6, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, at Chattel Road near the weigh station in Parksville and one April 29-30 along the Island Highway from Parksville to Qualicum Beach . She said for any other events, people should go online to visit the group’s website at www.broombusters.org.