Hogweed battle rages on in district

Invasive species has a nasty side

Members of Friends of French Creek

Members of Friends of French Creek

Due to the wet and cool spring, the invasive, non-native plant species hogweed has thrived in some local locations, hindering local society members and Town of Qualicum Beach staff’s efforts to eradicate it. 

Hogweed Team Leader Micheal Jessen, with the Friends of French Creek Conservation Society (FFCCS), said this year’s hogweed digs seemed to be going well until the team arrived at the airport lands.

“We were struck with a huge flourish of whole new plants,” he said, “just a jungle of them.”

Jessen said they have been going to the location for three years to control it, but they had to retrace their steps and tackle old territory before finally making some progress.

“It looks like three steps forward and two steps back,” he said. “It’s a process we go through and it can be quite discouraging at times.”

Friends of French Creek were joined by the Qualicum Beach Streamkeepers as well as Qualicum Beach Town staff during their airport dig. FFCCS have now finished their digs for the season.

French Creek is considered the epicenter of hogweed invasion on southeastern Vancouver Island, and likely has the oldest population in Western Canada, according to a website put together by Jeff Hallworth, coastal invasive plant specialist with the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range.

Jessen said although the French Creek area still has a serious hogweed problem, the group has managed to eradicate it at the green bridge in French Creek and at a few private properties. In order to keep the weed under control however, Jessen said they need assistance from local property owners and the big, land-owning companies. 

Although FFCCS’ hogweed digging season has ended, those on private property who are unable to battle the weed can call Jessen next season and he’ll try and get some volunteers out to help. Call him at 250-752-4579. 

• Giant hogweed sap contains chemicals that can cause severe dermatitis, including welts, rashes and blistering followed by pigmented scarring.

• Giant hogweed plants can grow up to 5 metres tall and produce up to 120,000 seeds.

• If you are exposed to giant hogweed sap, wash affected skin as soon as possible. Rinse eyes immediately. If you are unsure if all plant sap is removed, keep the area of skin covered (no sunlight) until you wash thoroughly. 

• Wash all clothing and equipment thoroughly with soap and water after contact with giant hogweed. Be careful not to redistribute plant sap when washing.

 

 

For details on giant hogweeed visit http://frenchcreekhogweed.ca.

 

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read