Blog Archives

 
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

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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.

 

Aliens in the Water – All Eyes on Deck!

What alien invasive species has been detected in Revelstoke Lake Reservoir?

A — Quagga Mussels;

B — Zebra Musells; or

C — Eurasian Milfoil?

If you answered Quagga and/or Zebra Mussels you’d be wrong. But if you answered C — Eurasian Milfoil — you’d be the big winner.

Last autumn, the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society completed invasive plant and mussel detection surveys in high priority lakes in the North Columbia. To date, the analyses from Lake Kinbasket, Lake Revelstoke, The Upper Arrow reservoir, and the Columbia River all came back negative for Zebra and Quagga Mussels.

However, invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil was detected in Lake Revelstoke, near the Martha Creek Provincial Park boat launch. Our surveys confirmed earlier studies by BC Hydro and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations that originally found this site infestation.

Invasive milfoil and invasive mussels take over riparian and recreational water areas, making it dangerous and difficult for swimmers and native aquatic life. Eurasian Water Milfoil is found throughout the Shuswap Lake region, and the CSRD runs a program funded by Shuswap residents to manage milfoil infestations at public recreational areas.

Invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels have not been detected in British Columbia, and are a real threat to our economy and environment: it would cost millions of dollars annually to maintain infested hydro-dam and water-valve infrastructure; in addition, invasive mussels would pollute our beaches, and decimate native aquatic life,” says CSISS Program Manager Robyn Hooper, “It is illegal in BC to transport invasive mussels on your watercraft.”

The Eurasian Milfoil site at Martha Creek goes to show that we need to constantly be on the look-out for new invaders threatening our lakes and rivers,” says the CSISS Executive Director Natalie Stafl, “We encourage all watercraft users to properly clean, drain and dry their equipment to protect our waters.

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species is working with the appropriate jurisdictions and stakeholders regarding a strategy for the Eurasian Milfoil infestation in Lake Revelstoke, under the guidance of the Canadian Columbia Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Framework. CSISS is planning more invasive plant and mussel detection surveys for 2016, and is excited to have Laura Gaster back with the CSISS staff team as the new Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator this spring.

Clean Drain Dry Instructions for Boaters (ISCBC) Eurasian (left) and Native Milfoil (right) (H.Kassa CSRD) Inspecting a boat for invasive mussels, Lake Mead, USA. (CSISS) Invasive Quagga Mussel Lake Mead USA (CSISS)

Images (from Left to Right): 1. Clean Drain Dry Instructions for Watercraft Users (ISCBC), 2. Eurasian and Native Milfoil (H.Kassa), 3. Inspecting a Boat Motor Infested with Quagga Mussels in Lake Mead (CSISS), and 4. Quagga Mussels in Lake Mead (CSISS).

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 Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Reference Resources

For more information on the 2015 invasive plant and mussel surveys, take a look at the CSISS North Columbia Priority Aquatic Invasive Species Surveys 2015 Report.

Learn about where to properly clean your watercraft and what waterbodies in Eastern Canada and the Southern United States are infested in our Boat Decontamination and Wash Locations brochure.

BC Hydro Columbia River Project Water Use Plan: KINBASKET RESERVOIR FISH & WILDLIFE INFORMATION PLAN Reference: CLBMON-55. Revelstoke Reservoir Macrophyte Assessment – Phase 1 Study Period: July 2009 – October 2010. G3 Consulting Ltd. (Note: page 51-52 Invasive Species). Appendices.

BC Hydro. Columbia River Project Water Use Plan Kinbasket Reservoir Fish & Wildlife Information Plan. Revelstoke Reservoir Macrophyte Assessment Implementation Year 2 Reference: CLBMON-55.Revelstoke Reservoir Macrophyte Assessment – Phase 2. Study Period: September 2014 to October 2014. G3 Consulting Ltd.

 

 

Text Box: Eurasian milfoil (left) has many more leaf pairs compared to the native milfoil (pictured right)
Text Box: Eurasian Milfoil often grows in dense patches, outcompeting native aquatic vegetation and altering fish habitat
Text Box: View of submerged Eurasian milfoil looking back at Martha Creek Boat Launch

 

 

For the full report with photos, maps and descriptions of our 2015 programs please click here.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

April 2015 marked the start of the third operational season of the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS). Since its

inception, the Society has actively pursued the goals identified in the 2013 CSISS Strategic Plan:

  1. Implement a collaborative and coordinated program
  2. Educate, engage and inspire residents and others to participate in invasive plant management
  3. Prevent the introduction of new invasive species
  4. Maximize the probability of detection and eradication of new invasive species
  5. Slow or reverse the spread of existing invasive species and reduce their harmful impacts
  6. Ensure program sustainability

In 2015, the CSISS strengthened and expanded its network of partners and furthered its objective to deliver collaborative and coordinated programs in the CSRD. This was achieved through its partnerships with various levels of government, the Invasive Species Council of BC, other regional invasive species groups, local stakeholders, residents and NGOs. Over 47 new and existing partnerships were established and strengthened.

Educating and engaging local residents continued to be a priority in 2015. The CSISS presented to and conducted targeted outreach to various stakeholders, landowners and First Nations. Additionally, the CSISS has supported numerous community events, hosted training workshops, re-designed and replaced outreach materials and banners, and engaged youth across the region through presentations and outdoor-based learning. Through these outreach activities, the CSISS directly engaged with over 2,960 people in the region, 986 of them youth.

The CSISS approached 18 garden centres and nurseries and presented the “PlantWise” message to various target groups to prevent new invasives from establishing in the region. CSISS staff also actively participated in the “Clean-Drain-Dry” Program, spreading the message to youth, local residents, water stewardship and boating groups to help prevent aquatic invaders such as Zebra/Quagga Mussels. Since January 2015, the CSISS was mentioned in 28 local news, radio and web pieces. Outreach through social media was also emphasized with an average of 1-2 posts per week on Facebooks and 127 ‘likes’ on the CSISS page. Through this media coverage the CSISS raised awareness of invasives and the importance of prevention activities.

In 2015, the CSISS hired an AIS contractor, Chris Harkness to inventory critical and high priority water bodies for aquatic invasive plants and Zebra/ Quagga mussel veligers to maximize the probability of detection and eradication of invasives. CSISS staff also targeted areas across the region for terrestrial invasive plant surveys, greatly enhancing our knowledge of the distribution and abundance of various high priority species in the region.

CSISS staff worked with key partners to slow and reverse the spread of invasive species. The CSISS hosted an Industrial Vegetation and Noxious Weed Applicator course in 2015 to train staff and build capacity among program partners. To enhance coordinated control efforts, CSISS staff collaborated with various land managers to ensure accurate, up-to date priority plant targets for active control. During the 2015 field season, CSISS staff documented and entered over 382 invasive plant records into IAPP. Over 78 volunteers participated in 6 weed pulls across the region, pulling over 125 bags of weeds!

In 2015, the CSISS employed 4 staff, 1 AIS contractor and added nearly $50,000 to its operating budget. Increasing in-house capacity and entering into multi-year funding agreements enhanced the overall program sustainability. Thanks to dedicated staff, diligent Directors, knowledgeable partners and inspired volunteers, the CSISS expanded its programming and made significant progress on each goal identified in the 2013 CSISS Strategic Plan.

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Any questions or comments? Email us at info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

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