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Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations
Invasive Plant Program

Invasive Plants

Invasive plants are those plants that do not occur naturally in ecosystems in British Columbia. They pose a threat to our native environment and are recognized globally as the second greatest threat to biodiversity.

Invasive plants are spread mainly by humans in the movement of whole plants, seeds, burs or root pieces; as horticulture products or on transported goods; by machinery and vehicles, and even on footwear, clothing or pets. Soil erosion, over-grazing, off-roading and other forms of soil disturbance can further spread these invaders. In addition, spread occurs by wind, water, livestock and wildlife.
Invasive plants are capable of producing thousands of seeds per plant, which may lie dormant for many years. They pose a very real threat to the continued existence of many of our native species and the biodiversity of our environment.

The presence of invasive plants can cause environmental and/or economic harm, and some species can harm human health. They are extremely aggressive, reproduce rapidly, and often out-compete crops and native vegetation.

Specific impacts of invasive plant infestations include

disruption of natural ecosystem processes,
alteration of soil chemistry - preventing the regrowth of native plants and economic crops,
increased soil erosion,
livestock and wildlife poisoning,
increased risk of wildfires,
interference with forest regeneration,
allergic reactions, severe skin abrasions and burns on people.

Management and Control

In the near future, our website will be expanded to include Alerts, Tips, and Management & Control sections. Meanwhile, you may wish to review these pages.

There are several pieces of legislation to address invasive plants in British Columbia, such as the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA); the Integrated Pest Management Act (IPMA); the Community Charters Act, and the Weed Act.

Contact the Invasive Plant Team for more information.

"Healthy, functioning BC ecosystems, free of the impacts of invasive plants."