Do you have invasive plants on your property? Help is here! With the growing season soon upon us, the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council (SSISC) is announcing a Pilot Cost Sharing Program for Private Lands with generous funding from the Community Foundation of Whistler. This program provides land owners, managers, and occupiers throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor with the guidance, support and financial resources necessary to manage invasive plants.
This pilot program will rebate private landowners up to 50% of the cost of control of giant hogweed & Japanese knotweed, two of the highest priority invasive species in the corridor and recently added to the BC Weed Control Act. Giant hogweed, which containspoisonous sap, is a serious health threat. The sap sensitizes skin to ultraviolet radiation and results in severe burns and may cause temporary or permanent blindness.
Japanese knotweed, on the other hand, can have serious environmental and economic impacts. This extremely aggressive plant can devastate riparian systems, degrade native plant and wildlife habitat, be a safety concern along roadways (affecting sightlines) and damage infrastructure. In the United Kingdom, Japanese knotweed reduces property values and in some cases, people have been unable to secure a mortgage or insure their property due to knotweed infestations. It is conceivably only a matter of time before this is the case within the Sea to Sky corridor. Early detection and control is the best way to mitigate damage.
This program targets private land owners since this is a great opportunity to address those individuals who really don’t know who to turn to with the issue and involve them positively. Public lands are still an issue; however we do already have partners responsible for those lands, be they municipalities, the province or utility lands. If we are successful, then we have educated people on the importance of the issue, which in turn puts more pressure on public land managers to be more pro-active.
Maximum rebates are $500 - $1,000, depending on size of property and sensitivity of location, and are issued based on funding availability and the order the applications are received. Conditions that would need to be met to qualify for the rebate include:
- Contacting SSISC no later than June 1, 2012 for appointment to determine maximum rebate/scope of work
- Invasive plants treated are giant hogweed and/or Japanese knotweed
- All treatment must be carried out by a SSISC Invasive-free Certified company or the SSISC itself (See list of Certified companies below)
- Any herbicide treatment must additionally be done by a Certified Licensed Pesticide Applicator & follow all local bylaws
- The treatment area must be within SLRD electoral areas C & D (includes Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton) or Lions Bay
SSISC Invasive-free Certified horticulture companies in the Sea to Sky Corridor that took part in the 2011 pilot program include:
2011 SSISC Invasive-free Certified horticulture companies in the Sea to Sky Corridor*
Alchemist Landscape Design & Management Budial Resource Group Ltd.
Coyote Landscape Contracting Deeply Rooted Landscaping
Heike Designs Inc. Latham Landscapes Ltd
Marie's Mountainview Garden Paulette French Design
Sound Garden Landscape Design Ltd. Whistler Landscaping
*Additional companies have already signed up for 2012 Invasive-free certification so stay tuned for an expanded list of horticulture companies that qualify to be part of the program. This stipulation to hire Invasive-free certified companies is to ensure quality and consistency of work. If this program expands in future years, the SSISC would like to see all control be completed by local companies or contractors.
HOW DO I APPLY?
We welcome your efforts to manage and control invasive plants on privately owned and managed lands! To apply, either fill out and submit a ‘Request for Assistance Form’, or contact SSISC at 604-698-8334 or by email before June 1st. After submitting your application, a representative from SSISC will contact you.