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#4-10145 Dallas Drive
Kamloops, BC V2C 6T4

Phone 250.573.3611
Fax 250.573.5155
Toll Free in BC 1.877.688.2333
Email  info@cattlemen.bc.ca

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NEWS RELEASE

Funding to Stop Spread of Invasive Plants Welcome News

June 26, 2015 (Kamloops, B.C.) – BC Cattlemen’s Association and the Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia are very pleased with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announcement to increase spending on fighting invasive plant species in gravel pits and transportation corridors. On Wednesday, Minister Stone committed $2.25 million over the next three years to combat the spread of invasive plants in B.C. in addition to the $3.9 million already earmarked in the Province’s transportation plan, B.C. on the Move.
The Grasslands Conservation Council, BC Cattlemen’s Association and Douglas Lake Ranch in collaboration with the Invasive Species Council of BC hosted a Grasslands Summit one year ago focused on the impacts of invasive plants in the province’s grasslands and rangelands. Highways gravel pits and transportation corridors were identified as contributing significant sources of invasive plant seed that introduce invasive plants into grasslands and rangelands on an annual basis.

TJ Walkem, Chair of the Grasslands Conservation Council stated that “We are losing the battle against invasive plants in our rangelands. We have lost thousands of acres of critical habitat for endangered species and productive grazing lands to invasive plants. Every year hundreds of acres of rangelands have invasive plants introduced to them through road and trail corridors. Stopping the spread of these plants will save hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.”

Gravel pits, as a source of invasive plant seed, are a major concern to conservationists, land owners, the ranching industry and resource managers given the spread of gravel and sand occurs year round. The continual introduction of invasive plant seed from plants growing in gravel pits and road shoulders adjacent to grasslands and rangelands introduces new seed to these lands annually.

Kevin Boon, BCCA General Manager said, “Invasive plants are an ever increasing problem in limiting forage production. The development of this program addresses the problem head on as a preventive measure that will save millions in treatment on our grasslands and ensure sustainability of our forage supplies while keeping British Columbia natural.”

“We applaud the government for making this step. Stopping the spread of invasive plants at the source is a critical step in reducing the introduction of invasive plants into grasslands and rangelands. Commitments like this make a difference,” said Walkem.

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About GCC
The Grasslands Conservation Council of British Columbia (BC Grasslands) is dedicated to the stewardship and conservation of the rare and beautiful grasslands of our province. Working to build a better understanding of grasslands and to provide methods and tools to better care for them, we pursue a vision of healthy and life-sustaining grasslands in BC for current and future generations. Learn more at www.bcgrasslands.org

About BCCA
The BC Cattlemen’s Association has been representing the interests of beef cattle ranchers in British Columbia since 1929. With almost 1,200 rancher members, the Association is pleased to work on issues of importance to cattle producers. The BC beef industry annually contributes $606 million (direct and indirect) to the provincial economy. For more information and statistics about BC ranching, visit www.cattlemen.bc.ca