Blog Archives

 

With the warm weather favouring backyard gardeners and water garden enthusiasts, the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) is reminding the public to be careful when selecting plants and animals for their ponds and gardens.  

“Water garden species can be lovely, but those with invasive tendencies can cause major problems in your garden as well as the wider environment” says Sue Davies, Aquatic Program Coordinator of CSISS. “When aquatic plants and animals begin to invade, they can totally take over and are extremely difficult to remove.  They can create havoc within natural ecosystems and also for human use of waterways.  It’s really important to prevent these species getting a toe-hold, and knowing what not to bring into your garden is the key.”

Some species listed on the provincial noxious weed list, such as flowering rush, can sometimes be found in retail garden centres. Flowering rush is regarded as one of the top five worst invasive alien plants in Canada due to its major ecological impact on natural ecosystems. Flowering rush is a species to be on the alert for, as it has already been found in British Columbia but is not yet established. The public is asked to help prevent the spread of this high priority plant by reporting any sightings and by never planting flowering rush in water gardens. Other common water garden species that are considered invasive and should be avoided include knotweed, purple loosestrife, yellow flag iris, parrot’s feather, mountain bluet, periwinkle, goldfish, red-eared slider turtle, and American bullfrog.

Following the Invasive Species Council of BC’s popular PlantWise and Don’t Let It Loose programs, CSISS urges the public to garden using only non-invasive species to prevent the spread of unwanted and invasive plants and animals into the environment. The public can access resources and information by visiting CSISS’s website at www.columbiashuswapinvasives.org.

The cost of invasive species to Canada is between $16.6 billion and $34.5 billion per year. In British Columbia, just six invasive plant species caused an estimated combined damage of at least $65 million in 2008. With further spread, impacts will more than double to $139 million by 2020.FloweringRush2 Photo ISCBC

 

Concerned groups are getting together to help prevent invasive mussels getting into our lakes and rivers.  The public are invited to attend a special event held at the Finlayson Road boat launch, beneath the No 1 Highway in Sicamous on the 26th of June, between 4pm and 6pm. (See Facebook event details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1646347072146721/)

Our lakes and rivers are an invaluable recreation and tourism asset in the Shuswap region and bring millions of dollars to our region annually. However, we cannot take our waterways for granted. Invasive species like zebra and quagga mussels are one of the biggest threats to BC’s waterways; left unchallenged, they would clog water pipes and intakes, foul docks, boats and other infrastructure, and ruin beaches with their sharp shells, costing millions of dollars, harming recreational and economic opportunities for local businesses and damaging the environment.

Fortunately, this threat is preventable.  Ensuring that mussel-fouled boats are never launched into our pristine lakes is key to preventing mussel infestations. The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS), Shuswap Watershed Council, and Invasive Species Council of BC have created an event to bring all interested parties together to discuss the threat and come up with the best possible options for countering it.

“This is an opportunity to collect together those who have a vested interest in keeping the region free of mussels – that is, all of us – and coming up with the best options for preventing musses from ever getting to these waters,” said Sue Davies, Aquatic Invasives Coordinator for the CSISS.  “Keeping the lakes and rivers pristine is in all our interests, and we want input from politicians, business owners, boaters, and the public.  We also want as many people to know about this issue as possible; the more knowledgeable local people means less chance of a mussel-fouled boat accidentally being launched into a lake”, she said.

MP Mel Arnold is confirmed to speak at the event, as are Provincial Ministry staff, and representatives from the other groups involved.  There will also be a flip-chart session for input to the discussion from businesses and the general public.

How can you help prevent mussels getting to BC?

For several years the province has had a ring of watercraft inspection stations near border crossings From BC’s southern and eastern boarders. It is mandatory for all watercraft including powerboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, sailboats and anything in between to stop at Provincial Mussel Defense Inspection Stations.

The inspection stations are now open for the 2018 season and inspectors will be checking boats and preforming decontaminations where necessary to make sure no one is unwittingly carrying these unwanted hitchhikers. If you are lucky, you might get to meet Kilo- BC’s mussel sniffing canine!

Inspection stations have been successful at preventing mussels from entering BC. With an 81% average compliance rate for the 2017 season, it is clear that the majority of people are aware of the requirement to stop. Failure to stop at highway inspection stations is an offence and inspectors monitor the highway for those not stopping.  If a vehicle with a watercraft fails to stop at the inspection station, Conservation Officers are notified and they pursue the vehicle, applying a hefty fine to non-compliant owners.

If your boat has been outside BC and you have not had your boat inspected please call 1 877 952 7277 before you launch!

When traveling between water bodies within BC, please be sure to “Clean, Drain and Dry” your watercraft.  CLEAN off all plants, mud and any attached material from your watercraft and trailer, DRAIN all water compartments and engine coolant systems onto dry land, and DRY all areas before moving your watercraft to another body of water.  For more information visit CSISS resources for boaters at https://columbiashuswapinvasives.org/resources-for-boaters/

[Image 2] Mussel ID_Photo Credit_ BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations                                           [Image 4] Mussel Boat_Photo Credit_Calgary Herald

Image Left: Native mussels versus invasive zebra and quagga mussels (Photo credit: Province of BC).

Image Right: A boat motor infested with mussels. (Photo Credit: Calgary Herald).

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention, management, and reduction of invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. CSISS is thankful for the generous support of the Shuswap Watershed Council, Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and the Province of British Columbia.

 
In this Edition:

  • How to avoid accidentally spreading invasive species
  • Spring Invasive Plant ID workshops
  • May is Invasive Species Action Month!
  • Help defend against Zebra and Quagga mussels
  • New Invasives Trail Signs and Boot Brushes
  • Pesticide Applicator Training
  • Firewood and recreation survey – cash prizes!

Spring has sprung and with it invasive plants and animals will be trying to hitch a ride.

Invasive plants and animals can create havoc when they spread to new locations, causing untold damage to environment, the economy, and even impacting people’s health.  Be part of the solution and make sure your watercraft, garden plants, boots, gear, bikes, pets, and firewood are invasive-free before you move them.

CSISS will be working to prevent the spread of invasives through targeting the most likely ways of accidental spread.  We will be visiting all marinas, garden centres, and pet shops in the region with specific information about avoiding the spread of invasives.  Look out for “Grow Me Instead” information at garden centres, “Clean Drain Dry” information at marinas and “Don’t Let It Loose” information at pet stores.

Spring Invasive Plant ID and Management Workshops

Want to Know how to identify and manage invasives?  attend one of our regional spring workshops!

These workshops cover identification of key invasive plants in your area and best management practices to prevent the spread of invasive species.  Workshops are applicable to industry, forestry, First Nations, municipal and regional staff, stewardship groups, and other interested individuals.

NEW THIS YEAR, we will be hosting a beginner workshop (if you have never taken a course with CSISS and are new to plant ID) and an advanced (if you have previously taken this course and would like a refresher).  BEGINNERS WORKSHOP ATTENDEES ARE INVITED TO ATTEND THE ADVANCED WORKSHOP.

DATES AND REGISTRATION HERE

May is INVASIVE SPECIES ACTION MONTH in BC!

Beginning May 1st, we will be showcasing an “invasive species of the day” on social media!  Be sure to follow us on Facebook to learn how to identify, report and manage these alien invaders.

Our spring Invasives Plant ID and Management workshops are scheduled for May, see below.

We will also be organizing weed pull events in May.  Be sure to like us on Facebookto receive updates on these and other events.

HELP DEFEND AGAINST THE SPREAD OF ZEBRA AND QUAGGA MUSSELS

Boating season is almost upon us.  If you have taken your boat outside BC, please stop at one of the Provincial Inspection Stations (map above) to ensure that you do not have any Zebra or Quagga mussels hitching a ride on your craft or gear.Stopping is mandatory and free.  Staff will either ask you about where your watercraft has been, request your passport of previous inspection, or inspect or decontaminate your boat.  You might even get inspected by Kilo, BC’s very own mussel sniffer dog!

New trail signs being installed this spring

CSISS has partnered with community groups, municipalities and the CSRD to install new invasive species signs and boot brushes at trail heads throughout the region this spring.Look for the signs and use the attached brushes to remove mud and seeds from your boots, bikes or gear.  Find more information here. 

Pesticide Applicator Certification Training

The ISCBC is offering an Industrial Vegetation and Noxious Weed Pesticide Applicators Certification – participants will receive the necessary information to successfully obtain their pesticide applicators certificate and properly and safely manage weeds on industrial land, roads, power lines, railways and pipeline right-of-ways including control of weeds designated as noxious on private or public land. Course schedule:
May 7th – 9th – Kamloops

MORE INFORMATION HERE

Firewood and Outdoor Recreation Short SurveyComplete a 10-minute survey and you will have a chance to win one of three prizes worth $250 dollars!
Do you use firewood? Do you like to hunt, camp, fish, hike or participate in any other outdoor recreation activities? If so, we want to hear from you!
The Canadian Council on Invasive Species, a national non-profit organization, is currently seeking information from across Canada about how Canadians participate in outdoor recreation and firewood activities and how those activities relate to our environment. The Council works collaboratively across boundaries to support actions and information that can help reduce the threat and impacts of invasive species. The information you provide will greatly assist in developing future education programs in helping Canadians reduce the spread of invasive species and protect our environment.  Your survey results are anonymous! If you choose to participate in the draw for $250, you will hear in April – just in time for the summer season!
To complete the survey, click HERE.
Thank you – to find out more about the Canadian Council on Invasive Species, go to canadainvasives.ca.
Sign up to become a CSISS member to receive regular updates and workshop invitations.

CSISS is grateful for the generous contributions of funders and partners.

We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
 

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 2018 field season (May-August terms):

 

1) The Education and Outreach Officer is an exciting full-time, 4 month work opportunity for candidates with experience in invasive species and outreach programming and delivery. The Education Officer assists the CSISS Outreach Coordinator with the CSISS outreach program, including delivery of Clean Drain Dry, Play Clean Go, Don’t Let It Loose, and PlantWise outreach programs with extensive travel throughout the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. This position also has potential GetYouthWorking funding eligibility. Download full job posting here for application requirements: CSISS Education Officer 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 Outreach/Aquatic Program Coordinator with outreach and aquatic programs (e.g. information booths, zebra/quagga veliger sampling) OR Field Operations Program Coordinator with field programs (e.g. surveying invasive plants, mechanical treatments of high priority plants). 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 for application requirements: CSISS Invasive Spp Program Asst Job Posting

 

Job Locations: Work-sites are within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Staff will meet and work out of the CSISS Head Office in Revelstoke.

After reviewing detailed job postings above with application requirements, please send all CVs and cover letters to: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org 

Only successful applicants will be contacted for interviews in April. 

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You’re Invited: CSISS Annual Land Manager Meeting March 15, 2018

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM CSRD Board Room, CSRD Office, 555 Harbourfront Drive NE, Salmon Arm, BC. To register, please RSVP to: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

OR Provide written feedback for priority list changes by March 5th to info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

Prior the meeting, please review2018 CSISS Annual Land Managers Meeting Draft Agenda

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.

 

It’s time for ACTION! May has been officially proclaimed Invasive Species Action Month in BC. Join CSISS for a number of free events listed below.

Be on the look-out for our Invasive themed weeks on Facebook.

 

Week 1: Invasive Animals: Don’t Let It Loose! – why you should care, what are the key problem invasive animals, including a focus on the pet trade and learn what you can do

Week 2: Invasive Plants: PlantWise, Grow Me Instead – why you should care, what are key problem invasive plants, and learn what you can do, including both an agriculture and horticulture focus

Week 3: Outdoor Recreation: Play Clean Go – why recreation is a concern, key species of concern, activities that spread invasive species, and learn what you can do

Week 4: Aquatics: Clean Drain Dry – why freshwater and marine environments are of concern, key species (both plants and animals) of concern, and learn what you can do

Beginning May 1st, we will be showcasing an invasive species of the day on social media! Be sure to follow us on Facebook to learn how to identify, report and manage these alien invaders.Find us on Facebook!
To learn more about Invasive Species Action Month visit:http://bcinvasivesmonth.com/
FREE WORKSHOP!July 27th 2017
Wetland Restoration and Invasive Species Workshop (REGISTER NOW):

 

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is hosting a one day free wetland restoration and invasive species workshop with the BC Wildlife Federation, in partnership with the Columbia Mountains Institute. The workshop date is July 27th, 2017 in Revelstoke BC and will dovetail with the Columbia Mountain’s Institute Wetland Plant ID course. This workshop will provide an overview of steps involved in restoring a wetland, including site selection, design considerations, and permitting requirements.The presentation will also share examples of wetland restoration in the context of managing invasive species, some of the successes and some of the challenges in BC. Following morning presentations, the participants will travel to a site to receive hands-on training in wetland restoration design. To register, email your name and your affiliation to: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org or call us on 1-855-785-9333.
For more info visit our website.

CSISS has some new staff members this year!
CSISS would like to give a warm welcome to Sue Davies, our new Aquatics and Outreach Program Coordinator. Contact Sue to organize presentations, workshops, and display booths at sdavies@columbiashuswapinvasives.org. We would also like to welcome Emily Spiler, returning for her third year with CSISS as Outreach Officer; and two Canada Summer Jobs students, Braden Lamoureux and Katlin McCallum.   Continuing staff include Robyn Hooper, Executive Director and Laura Gaster, who has stepped into the role as Field Operations Program Coordinator. More info here about Our Team. Be on the look out this summer for our staff at events and in the field. Be sure to stop by and say hello! 
Raising awareness among youth is an important step to preventing the spread of invasives in the region.  CSISS can provide pro-d training, field trips, educational resources and activities that fit well in the prescribed BC Learning Objectives. Learn more on our Resources for Educators, or contact us at: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org
CSISS is grateful for the generous contributions of funders and partners, including Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Province of BC, and the Invasive Species Council of BC.For more information or to contact us, please visit:http://columbiashuswapinvasives.org/
 

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

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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

Play_Clean_Go_Logo

 

5. Report- A-Weed

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

 

 

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: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

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: 

https://columbiashuswapinvasives.org/get-involved/workshops-and-presentations/

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

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: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

 

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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 info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org
Prior the meeting, please review: Agenda and Proposed Priority Ranking Updates.

To register, please RSVP to : info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

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.

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