Coastal Invasive Species Committee


In this issue you will find:   

Coastal ISC News and Updates
Upcoming Events
People in Action
Regional, BC and International News
Resources and Tidbits


Coastal ISC News and Updates

Calling All Land Managers! Help Us Prioritize Species to Target in 2017!
In the New Year, Coastal ISC will be hosting, in partnership with regional district partners, six to eight workshops throughout its service area. An opportunity to engage land managers including: First Nations, farmers with acreage, private forest companies, utilities and stewardship groups to contribute their local knowledge to inform regional invasive plant priority lists and containment areas, supporting effective, collaborative management of invasive species in the region. (photo: Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium), 2014 South Island Inventory, credit: RMcElroy)
Workshop outcomes will be used to update the 2010 invasive plant management strategy that is regional in scope, to an invasive plant management area operational framework.  This new guiding document is proposed to cover nine invasive plant management areas delineated by regional district boundaries.

Are you a land manager on Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands or the Sunshine Coast? We want your input!

Invitations will be sent out before the end of January with more information. If you are a land manager and would like to participate email us  or call us toll-free at 1.844.298.2532.

Partnership Expands To Tackle French Creek, Giant Hogweed 

Did you know? The epicenter for Giant Hogweed (Heracium mantegazziatum) on Vancouver Island is French Creek, a sensitive stream under the Fisheries Protection Act, and a community watershed located in the central east coast of Vancouver Island?  
(Photo: Giant Hogweed, French Creek Watershed, Credit: JMacLeod)
The Nanaimo Regional District, the City of Parksville, the Friends of French Creek Conservation Society, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Island Timberlands  and the Coastal ISC have been working to update inventory and treatment data and control infestations.  A stakeholder planning session is proposed prior to the start of the 2017 field season to ensure that efforts are strategic and make the best use of available resources. 
Giant Hogweed is a high priority species, listed as an eradicate species on the Coastal ISC Priority Invasive Plant List and a priority one species on Crown Land.  A toxic invasive species that can cause severe burns when contacted with the skin.  Giant Hogweed is an aggressive invader native to Southwestern Asia that was introduced as a garden ornamental.  Not only is it highly toxic, it also forms tall, dense canopies that crowd out low-growing native species resulting in decreased bank stability and erosion.   
Spring Forum, Field Tour and Annual General Meeting Scheduled for June 2017
The Coastal ISC Annual General Meeting will go back to its popular format and include a series of engaging speakers and a field tour. Proposed for the second week in June, 2017.  Stay tuned for further announcements in the New Year. This event is an opportunity for those working or have an interest in invasive species management to gather, share ideas, build relationships and inform efforts in the region. We welcome input into speakers and topics, please contact us!

Holiday Closure
Annual staff holiday will begin December 23rd at 5:00 p.m. and re-open January 23rd at 9:00 a.m. The Conservation Center will be open, however Coastal ISC staff are taking a much deserved holiday.  Should you have any concern, feel free to email us at, or call our toll-free hotline at 1.844.298.2532. prior to the holidays for assistance.

To keep updated on Coastal ISC news and events, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and on our website.

Upcoming Events
Feb 28 - March 2, 2017 | National Invasive Species Forum | Ottawa. Hosted by the Canadian Council on Invasive Species with support from Environment & Climate Change Canada. This three day event will focus on prevention (pathways), early detection and collaboration. Early bird registration is open. Register today.

Don't miss this opportunity to join leaders from across Canada to improve coordination and information sharing on invasive species prevention and management across Canada. Participants from all levels of government, Aboriginal organizations, businesses, professionals, academia and non-profits are all invited to discuss and identify shared approaches to stop the introduction and spread of invasive species to Canada’s landscapes. 
June 20 - 22, 2017 | Invasive Species Research Conference | Kamloops. Hosted by the Thompson Rivers University in partnership with the Invasive Species Council of BC. Conference includes keynote speakers; concurrent themed sessions with the invitation for oral presentations; poster presentations; lightning talks; a focused, facilitated discussion on future research priorities for BC and a series of optional field trips in the Kamloops area. Have your research highlighted at this event Call for Abstracts

June 25 and 26, 2017 | Introduction to Wetland Plants of BC | Revelstoke. Offered by the Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology. Learn to identify freshwater vascular plants of BC in the field in this exciting two day course.

Other topics that will be touched upon in this course include the ecological, biogeographic, and evolutionary relationships of the focal plants, wetland classification and indicator plants, general plant terminology, and the proper collection and preparation of plant specimens.  Register today 
People in Action  
Highlight on Broombusters Campbell River  
Broombusters Campbell River have been tackling the public land in Campbell River for the past three years and it is almost “Broom Free”!  

The photo (left) is of Lisa Portman, one of many enthusiastic volunteers working along Jubilee Parkway located just outside of Campbell River.  This site was selected due to its visibility, encouraging others to cut Broom in bloom in their community.
Broombusters groups are found in diverse communities on Vancouver Island including Courtenay, Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo, Parksville and Duncan. Join a group near you to learn how to properly control, dispose and monitor Scotch Broom. Be part of a dedicated group of volunteers, for more information visit 

Regional, BC and International News

Aerial Gypsy Moth Treatment Planned in Saanich
by Greig Bethel - BC Government Information Bulletin, posted Dec 7, 2016
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has applied for a pesticide use permit to aerial-spray 186 hectares in Saanich with a spray approved for use on organic farms, to eradicate a growing population of gypsy moth and minimize the risk they pose to forests, farms, orchards and trees. Read the full bulletin

Project Tries to Control Invasive Plant 
by Tamara Cunningham - Nanaimo News Bulletin, posted Oct 7, 2016
The B.C. government in partnership with the City of Nanaimo are testing out new ways of controlling knotweed in riparian areas. The hope is mesh will contain growth of the plant’s canes, which are larger than the size of the wire openings, and prevent fragments from moving downstream in high-water where they can regrow. Read the full article

Why Doubt Invasive Species Impacts?
by James Russell - National Geographic, posted November 25, 2016
Do you know that Invasive species rank higher than climate change as a current threat to endangered species? So then why, despite all the scientific evidence of negative impacts from invasive species, would people be resistant to taking action against them? Read the full article

Executive Order Announced to Safeguarding the Nation From the Impacts Of Invasive Species
by the office of the Press Secretary - the White House, posted Dec 5, 2016
Barack Obama appointed the National Invasive Species Council to oversee the implementation of the order "to Safeguard the Nation from the impacts of Invasive Species". Read the full executive order

VI - Resources and Tidbits

Using eDNA to Determine Presence/Absence of Bullfrogs in Lakes
Wouldn’t it be great if we could take a scoop of water from a pond and tell if an invasive species has recently been there? Or an endangered species, for that matter. A research group at the University of Victoria can now do just that. Using very sensitive methods, the team can measure the DNA that every organism leaves behind, called environmental DNA—or eDNA for short.

The new technique is described in a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal, PLOS ONE. The lead author is UVic molecular biologist Caren Helbing. Read the full story

Did You Know that 72% of Knotweed in North America is Bohemian? 

Tracking species taxonomy when conducting knotweed treatments or when conducting efficacy monitoring is important because some control methods may be appropriate for certain species and not others, and can play a  significant role in the efficacy of the treatment.

According to recent research by Gillies et al. (2016), the hybrid bohemian knotweed (Fallopia x bohemica) can regenerate from its roots quicker than the sterile male Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica).  Bohemian knotweed spreads quicker and is better able to adapt to changing environmental conditions because of its diverse genetic variability.  

Brush up on your knotweed identification this winter with this resource: “Key to Identification of Invasive Knotweeds in British Columbia" (2007).  BC Ministry of Forests and Range  

Leo Network: Using Local Observations to Monitor Environmental Change
Have you noticed environmental changes as our climate warms where you live? The Leo Network "the eyes, ears and voice of our changing environment" provides a platform to record these changes in real-time. Individual observations are significant and collectively confirm that we are heading towards an unprecedented future. Evidence of the power of incorporating local knowledge into our decision making processes for greater impact. Contribute your observations

Thank you for your continued support of our programs!

Nurse Log, Cape Scott, Vancouver Island (Photo Credit: LAnneliese)
We Wish You a Happy Holiday Season!

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Coastal Invasive Species Committee · P.O. Box 30039 · Courtenay, British Columbia V9N 9H8 · Canada

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