Lookout for Invasive Knotweed! New Regional Reporting System Launched in the CRD

Date: August 30, 2012                                                                                                                                                                   For Immediate Release

Victoria, BC…The Capital Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), which includes the local governments, announced today the call for residents in the CRD to be on the alert for invasive knotweed and report any sightings through a regional reporting system.  For more information and to report knotweed in this region, please visit www.coastalinvasiveplants.com and click the ‘Report-A-Weed‘ button or call 250-857-2472(CIPC).

Japanese knotweed 2012_1Local Governments and Land Managers in the CRD have teamed up to deal with invasive knotweed: one of the world’s worst invaders which has started to invade the CRD.  “In neighbouring regions it is already too late to eradicate” warns Becky Brown, Invasive Plant Specialist, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operation “these plants are capable of growing through 4 feet of concrete and can reproduce from a fragment no larger than the size of your small finger nail”.  

Three species of Knotweed, sometimes called ornamental bamboo (due to the stalks), have now been found in this region. In other areas of BC and the world, the effects of widespread Knotweed have been very costly.  Becky Brown notes that “the United Kingdom has declared it ‘controlled waste’ and some financial institutions will not grant mortgages on contaminated lands.  It is only a matter of time in British Columbia.”

Knotweed species are extremely expensive and difficult to control once they have spread.  Becky Brown notes that in neighbouring regions knotweed is “starting to dominate watercourses, prevent access to valuable recreation areas, alter fish habitat, damage infrastructure and contaminate vacant lots.” On a positive note for our region: “populations are still small in the CRD and land managers in the Capital Region have an incredible and limited opportunity to eradicate it.”

Success in the CRD depends on public assistance.  CRD residents are asked to call (above) for treatment and disposal assistance.  Treatment of this species is very difficult, so a regional response has been set up. Hartland Landfill is now only taking Knotweed as a controlled waste with permit, but CRISP is providing a regional disposal program for 2012. 

For further information: Coastal Invasive Plant Committee/ Capital Region Invasive Species Partnership 250-857-2472 (CIPC)

Media questions contact: Rachelle McElroy, Coordinator Coastal Invasive Plant Committee Email: info@coastalinvasiveplants.com Phone: 250-857-2472