Letters to the Editor

Invasive species

Re: ‘Battling invasive species’ (The NEWS, May 20) and letter by Sunshine Goldberry (The NEWS, June 3).

Goldberry informed Parksville, Qualicum Beach and area residents that local boots-on-the-ground volunteers have not actually received any of the funds the B.C. government recently gave out, along with announcing June 9-15 as Invasive Species Week.

Taxpayer funds apparently were given to a fairly new, unknown entity, the Coastal Invasive Species Committee, to help raise our awareness.

Scotch broom, one of our more prolific invasive plants, is already pretty well known. Perhaps those funds should go directly to the hands-on people doing the hard labour, working to combat invasive species, who are making the largest positive improvement to our area’s life-supporting ecosystems. I support and salute the volunteers who do this for the benefits of all.

Invasive plants displace our native food producing vegetation; can cause serious health issues, as well as affect our economy and surroundings by disrupting natural ecosystems, increasing soil erosion and altering the chemistry of the soil of commercial crop lands.

It unquestionably is time for multinational corporate citizens to spend funds for their own employees or pay others to do the job of removing Scotch broom and other introduced invasive species from the disturbed soils on public and private forest land partial–retention clear-cuts.

It is a shame the B.C. government is all talk, no action, being more concerned about publicity and signage rather than doing something tangible to combat invasive species.

Ronda Murdock

Parksville

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