Yearly Archives: 2017


Happy Earth Day! Our neighbours at the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society wrote this fantastic blog piece, so we thought we’d share (see original blog post at the CKISS website):

Earth Day started in the US on April 22, 1970 as an idea for a nation to focus on the environment. Today 192 countries and 1 billion people partake in Earth day events, a day of action that encourage change in human behavior in order to create a healthy and sustainable environment.

Make yourself part of the movement by preventing the spread of invasive species. Invasive species can out compete native species for resources and space drastically lower the biodiversity of the ecosystem. Humans are the #1 way invasive species spread by ‘hitchhiking’ onto watercraft, clothing, vehicles and even your pet! Simple actions listed below are a free and easy way to protect the native plants and animals found in your backyard.

1. Clean, Drain, Dry

  • Clean all plants, animals, or mud from watercraft & related equipment
  • Drain any water onto land
  • Dry all items completely

Press release 13

2. Be PlantWise

  • Choose non-invasive plants for your garden
  • Remove invasives from your garden
  • Avoid wildflower seed mixes

PW mobile phone circle graphic

3. Dispose of garden waste properly

  • Do not dump garden waste in public parks, natural areas, and roadsides
  • All landfills within the CSRD accept invasive plant species for deep burial (fees). Ensure your material is bagged in clear plastic bags and notify the attendant that you have invasive plant species
  • NEVER compost invasive species
  • NEVER put invasive species into CSRD Yard Waste (Deep Burial at landfill instead)

4. Clean off ALL your recreation equipment….Play Clean Go

  • Remove mud & plant parts from gear, boots, pets & vehicles
  • Arrive at the trailhead and recreation site clean
  • Stay on trails



5. Report- A-Weed

  • Know and report the high priority species in your region
  • Download the free APP at:



The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society has updated the Priority Plant List for the Columbia Shuswap Region after consultation with land managers at our February 23rd meeting.

The updated Priority Plant List can be viewed here: CSISS Priority Plant List 2017

The updated CSISS Operational Plan can be viewed here: CSISS Operational Plan

Other CSISS reports and resources can be found here: CSISS Resources

CSISS is pleased to offer FREE Invasive Plant ID and Management Training Workshops.
This course covers everything from identification of key invasive plants in your area, to implementing best management practices in the field to prevent the spread of invasive species.To learn more and register e-mail:

May 2, 2017: Salmon Arm BC. 10am- 12pm. CSRD Office: 555 Harbour Front Dr NE
May 10, 2017: Revelstoke BC. 10am- 12pm OR 1pm- 3pm Revelstoke Community Centre
May 11, 2017: Sicamous BC. 10am- 12pm District of Sicamous Public Works at 1450 Solsqua Rd.
Late May TBD: Golden BC. Golden Arena Lounge.

Check out other CSISS spring and summer workshops and events at:

Photo credit: CSISS. Invasive Leafy Spurge is one of the top priority species in the Columbia Shuswap region.

Latin name:

Tribulus terrestris  

Native to:

Europe and Asia 

Regional Distribution:

Puncturevine grows exclusively in southern BC, Osoyoos and Oliver, but has the potential to spread.  Puncturevine is currently on CSISS’ regional EDRR watch list.


Puncturevine forms dense mats along roadsides, vacant lots, beaches and unpaved parking sites. Each plant can reach up to 3 metres in length and has hairy leaves and tiny yellow flowers. A few weeks after the yellow flowers bloom, spiny, sharp seedpods emerge. These sharp seedpods have a mild toxin at the tip and can easily cut skin and make humans and animals ill. The seeds spread easily by attaching to animals, humans and even tires.


Mechanical removal (digging, hand pulling, tilling) is effective against infestations when completed before flowering and seed production. Herbicides such as picloram, dicamba and glyphosate have been successful.

For information on prevention and control methods please refer to Weeds BC page 128


Latin name:

Euphorbia cyparissias  

Native to:

Europe and Asia 

Regional Distribution:

The distribution of Cypress Spurge is a major concern in the Kootenay, Okanagan, Thompson and Cariboo regions of BC.  In the Columbia Shuswap, it can be found in the Salmon Arm IPMA and Golden IPMA.  Cypress spurge is a provincially noxious weed under the BC Weed Control Act.


Similarly to Leafy Spurge, Cypress Spurge is a perennial found at low to mid-elevations on dry roadsides, grasslands and open forests rapidly forming large colonies. It has clusters of bright yellow-green flowers that bloom earlier than those of the Leafy Spurge. The leaves have no leaf stalk and are hairless, narrow and spiral around the stem. The leaves of the Cypress Spurge tend to be narrower than those of the Leafy Spurge. The extensive root system can exceed 4.5 meters horizontally and 9 meters vertically making it an aggressive invader. Cypress Spurge is categorized as a competitive invasive plant as it produces a compound in the soil that inhibits the growth of other plants nearby.


Herbicides have been successful with small infestations. Multiple treatments are required every year for several years due to the aggressive nature of this plant and can re-infest rapidly if left untreated. Mechanical removal is ineffective due to the extensive root system of Cypress Spurge.

You can help!

Be Plant Wise! Plant native or non-invasive alternatives such as Broad-leaf Stonecrop, Yellow Ice Plant, Red Hot Poker, Common Rockrose and Yellow Gem Shrubby Cinquefoil.

Read more about these alternatives here GMI-Booklet_2013_WEB


Latin name:

Chondrilla juncea  

Native to:

 Southern Europe, Asia and Africa 

Regional Distribution:

Rush Skeletonweed is a provincially noxious weed and is a major concern in the Kootenay and Okanagan regions. It poses a serious threat to rangelands, gravel pits, drylands and land irrigated for cereal production. In the Columbia Shuswap, rush skeleton weed can be found in the Falkland area.


Rush Skeletonweed is an aggressive invasive plant that spreads rapidly through plant fragments, its extensive root system and parachute-like seeds which can be transported up to 20 miles. It produces small yellow flowers and can be identified by stiff reddish-brown hairs that cover the base of the stem. This plant has wiry, thin stems, which ooze a milky sap that contaminate and damage cultivation machinery. It also drastically reduces crops yields by out-competing forage crops for soil moisture and nitrogen.


Herbicides have been successful when multiple treatments are applied annually.  Mechanical removal is effective on small infestations but repeated weed pulls are required due to the extensive root system of Rush Skeletonweed.

For information on prevention and control methods please refer to Weeds BC page 140


Latin name:

Butomus umbellatus  

Native to:

Northern Africa, Asia and Europe 

Regional Distribution:

Flowering rush has not yet been found in the Columbia Shuswap region but is an invasive species to watch for as it is currently found in isolated locations around the province of BC. It has had a major ecological impact on the natural ecosystems of the Great Lakes and is causing concern in BC.


Flowering rush is an aquatic perennial commonly found along shorelines of lakes and rivers, in canals and ditches. This almond-scented plant produces an umbrella shaped array of small pink flowers. The stem can grow up the 3 feet in height and forms dense stands along the shoreline.  Before the flowering stage of this plant it can easily be mistaken for Seacoast bulrush and bur-reed.


Mechanical control such as careful digging is an effective method in areas where flowering rush is present in low density. The entire plant must be removed in order to ensure complete eradication of the species. Buds or other root fragments can quickly and easily develop on soil.

For lakes without Flowering Rush, prevention is the best control. Clean, Drain and Dry your boat before launching into another water-body.



Latin name:

Cirsium palustre  

Native to:


Regional Distribution:

Marsh plume thistle currently has limited distribution in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. This species is  being controlled and monitored in both the Revelstoke and the Salmon Arm Invasive Plant Management Areas (IPMA’s).


Marsh plume thistle is distinguishable by clusters of purple flowers located at the end of its stems. The stems are usually single, un-branched with hairy leaves, growing up to 2 meters tall. It is commonly found in moist woodlands, riparian areas and roadsides.


Mechanical removal is an effective method of control when done before flowering to prevent seed-set. If the area is hand-pulled or cut/ mowed before flowering, the plant can be left to decompose on site. If plants have started to flower, flowers must be bagged and removed from the site to prevent the production of viable seeds.  More information about Marsh Plume Thistle and control options can be found on the TIPS sheet. 


Are you or someone you know interested in working for the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society and preventing the spread of invasive species in the region?  Two job postings are available for the 2017 field season:


1) The Aquatic and Outreach Program Coordinator is an exciting full-time, 4 month work opportunity for candidates with experience in invasive species outreach programming, aquatic invasive species monitoring and natural resource management. The Aquatic and Outreach Program Coordinator leads the CSISS Aquatic Invasive Species field program, including conducting zebra quagga mussel veliger sampling. As well, the Coordinator leads the CSISS outreach program, including coordinating Clean Drain Dry, Play Clean Go, Don’t Let It Loose, and PlantWise outreach programs with extensive travel throughout the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Download full job posting here: CSISS AIS and Outreach Program Coordinator Job Posting 


2) The Invasive Species Program Assistant is 4 month work term for qualified students in post-secondary programs, interested in communicating with the public and community groups about invasive species, and assisting the Aquatic and Field Operations Program Coordinators with field programs (e.g. surveying invasive plants, mechanical treatments of high priority plants, zebra/quagga veliger sampling). Applicants for this position should be energetic, physically fit, self-motivated and have excellent communication skills. This position is pending funding from Canada Summer Jobs Program. Download full job posting here: CSISS Invasive Species Program Asst Job Posting


Job Locations: Work-sites are within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Staff may choose to work out of the CSISS Head Office in Revelstoke, Salmon Arm satellite office, or may work out of a home-based office within the CSRD with bi-weekly meetings in Revelstoke.


Please send all CVs and cover letters to:




You’re Invited: CSISS Annual Land Manager Meeting February 23, 2017

12:30 PM – 3:30 PM McPherson Room, Revelstoke Community Centre, 600 Campbell Ave, Revelstoke, BC. Conference call available upon request.
OR Provide written feedback on proposed updates by February 15th to
Prior the meeting, please review: Agenda and Proposed Priority Ranking Updates.

To register, please RSVP to :

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is doing an annual review of their Priority Invasive Plant lists from the CSISS’ Invasive Plant Management Area (IPMA) Operational Plan. Your input is critical in ensuring the delivery of an effective, efficient, and coordinated invasive plant program in the Columbia Shuswap.

The goal of this meeting is to enable land managers to provide guidance and input on the Invasive Plant Management Area Operational Plan Lists. The meeting objectives are to 1) Share updates on invasive plant management activities of each organization; and 2) Revisit prioritization of invasive plant species and activities for treatments, inventories, monitoring and data management.



Another year has come and gone! Reflecting back on a successful 2016, we would like to thank all of our dedicated volunteers, supportive partners and generous funders helping CSISS complete our important work within the Columbia Shuswap Region.



CSISS continues to educate, engage and inspire action among residents of the Columbia Shuswap.  In 2016, CSISS successfully delivered Play Clean Go, Don’t Let it Loose, PlantWise and Clean Drain Dry programs across the region. CSISS attended over 154 community events, distributed 10 press releases, hosted several workshops and training events, supported 10 weed pulls and more!
In 2016, CSISS completed 986 invasive plant surveys at 278 new sites! Across the region, high priority species such as blueweed, rush skeleton weed and himalayan balsam were inventoried and Do Not Mow signage was installed for the high priority species knotweed.  Additionally, CSISS responded to 136 invasive species reports delivering helpful management information to landowners.
CSISS continued to expand its aquatics program. In total, CSISS staff and contractor Chris Harkness collected 35 Zebra Quagga Mussel veliger samples at 22 priority water bodies in the Columbia Shuswap.  Additionally, detailed aquatic and riparian plant surveys were completed at 9 locations.  No Zebra Quagga Mussel veligers or new aquatic invasive plants were found.
Want to learn more? Click here for our Annual Report
Job Posting!  
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is looking to hire an Assistant Environmental Coordinator to work with invasive species.  For more information, please visit:
Save the Date!
The Invasive Species Research Conference is being held June 20 – 22, 2017 at TRU and features renowned keynote speakers Dr. Daniel Simberloff and Dr. Anthony Ricciardi. Invasive species researchers and practitioners from across the Pacific Northwest are invited to attend and to submit scientific research abstracts for presentations at the Invasive Species Research Conference. For more information, please visit:
Stay up to date on the Zebra and Quagga Mussel Veliger infestation in Montana. Visit: for more information.
Upcoming Events:
February 8, 7 pm, Lady Grey Library, Golden. Conservation on private land in the Golden area. Juliet Craig, Kootenay Conservation Program
Feb 23, 2017: 12:30-3:30pm Land Manager Meeting. Annual updates to CSISS priority plant list. Revelstoke, BC. All land managers within or adjacent to CSISS region are invited, and written feedback submissions are also welcome. More details to follow.
Feb 28-March 2, 2017: National Invasive Species Forum, Ottawa, ON.
Spring 2017:  CSISS Regional Invasive Plant ID and Management Training Workshops to be offered in Revelstoke, Golden, Salmon Arm and Sicamous. Dates TBD.
June 20-22, 2017: Invasive Species Research Conference. Kamloops, BC.Book a spring/summer workshop or presentation by CSISS – contact us at info@columbiashuswapinvasives.orgBook a teacher professional development day to learn about how to teach about invasives. Lean more here.
Ordering plants for the spring? Already starting to plan your garden? Make sure it’s invasive free by checking

From all of us at the CSISS Team we wish you a happy, healthy and fun New Year.