Re: ‘Battling invasive species’ (The NEWS, May 20).
The article said $60,000 in grant money has been given to the Coastal Invasive Species Committee by the provincial government to “control the spread of invasive plants.”
Right away my attention was drawn to the rest of the article. Reference is made to some local groups that are battling invasives. I’ve been a volunteer with both the French Creek Society (hog weed) and the Oceanside Broombusters and I know both of the groups do their work with volunteers and do this work on a shoestring or two. Local residents may think that some of this $60,000 came to these deserving groups, but no. Local boots-on-the-ground societies were mentioned in the article, but the provincial grant went to a group that few have ever heard of and which I believe has no representation in the area.
The lack of real action by the provincial government on invasive species is being glossed over by grants to invasive committees around the province who operate websites with general info about some plants and animals considered problems. Vague and general information about various invasives just doesn’t cut it or deal with the piles once it’s cut, like the broom that is out-of-control here on the coast, where humans have disturbed the topsoil for a 100 years.
The biggest problem is that the battle is real difficult to wage when some big players are not involved. In the case of broom, the main culprits in the spread are the rail-lines and BC Hydro transmission lines. If our provincial government really wants to make a difference in what could be an immense problem in a few years, we need to see some real action.
A real big impact could be made if corporate “citizens” took their responsibility to the environment seriously. Otherwise it is just so much green wash.