It has been an incredible 2012 field season for ISCMV. We have successfully help to start more the 50 hectares of land on the road to rehabilitation throughout Metro Vancouver. Even greater than the successful control of a lot of knotweed, Giant Hogweed, and other priority biological invaders, are the stories of habitat recoveery we discovered as we revisited sites treated in the previous year. To see new native plants coming back on their own now that they have the chance is probably the greatest point of pride for the organzation. Nature has an incredible ability of "rebooting" itself if given the opportunity.
To get a feel for what we were up to this field season, please check out our field season highlights video. You will see all the amazing places we worked and some great results! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGx4i7PA9Ng&feature=plcp
We have been working to support an effort on knotweed control at the top end of Pitt Lake. Last month Jen went out to survey all of the shorelines along the Lake to ensure there weren't further infestations along the water. We are happy to report that the knotweed appears to be contained to the top of the lake as the shorelines were free of it. Check out our map of where we surveyed (you can see where we drove on the boat). The red dots indicate the knotweed at the top of the lake. A major project will be taking place to control as much of the knotweed as possible at the end of the lake. That project will be completed by the Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council.
Check out a discussion and demo of stem injection of knotweed. Jen discusses why we use this treatment method and the results that we are finding from treatments conducted last year. Watch it Here
Today while the crew was working in a regional park, they were alerted to someone having dumped a load of yard waste illegally in the park. Upon inspection, it turned out to be approximately 150 pounds of Knotweed plant parts and roots. Yard waste dumping is a major source of ecological damage to sensitive areas as often plants that are dumped are invasive and quickly take a foot hold in prime habitat. Check out the crew's video blog and remember to dispose of green waste properly! Home composters, your municipality's greenwaste stream and in the case of knotweed, in the land fill.
Today the crew conducted follow up treatments on Giant Hogweed along Hwy 1 in Langley and in North Vancouver. These three sites were treated last year by our crew. These infestations had obviously been present at these sites for some time given their size. Because Giant Hogweed plants can produce up to 100,000 seeds per plant, we were expecting an extensive seed bank would be present at these sites. We were right. The sites looked very similar to last year in terms of numbers of plants (except this time we got to them early in the year when they were small instead of 15ft high). While this could seem discouraging after all of the work we did last year, this is just part of the process of "seed bed exhaustion". The management approach for this type of "seedy" plant is an annual plan to return once or twice during the growing season to treat new germinates until all of the seeds that had been previously deposited by the historic plants have germinated and been treated. Giant Hogweed seeds have been noted to germinate for up to 10 years once deposited in the seed bank though the greatest germination rate is in the first 2 years. This is a great example of how a one-time treatment is not enough. We cannot simply treat and walk away. Treatment of plants such as Giant Hogweed require a committed program for successful eradication. This also emphasizes the point that we should not let these plants become so established as treatment is much more costly at this stage
Saturday May 5th 2012
The Port Moody Ecological Society had their annual Fingerling Festival this past weekend. There were over 50 environmental organizations represented at the festival. It was a very positive day and we were quite busy at our invasive plant table! We were lucky enough to run into our Senior Park Ranger (BC Parks), Rob at the event (pictured right with our booth). The Noon’s Creek Hatchery was very busy as people were lined up to release over 40,000 young chum salmon into Noon’s Creek for their 4 year journey in the Pacific Ocean.
Sunday April 29th 2012
Bell –Irving Hatchery, Maple Ridge BC
This weekend we were out at the Goodbye Chum Festival at Bell-Irving Hatchery located within beautiful Kanaka Creek Regional Park. This is an annual event put on by the Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society (KEEPS). Almost 600 people came out to send off the Chum salmon fry– luckily it didn’t rain and we had a sunny day for the most part! We shared our tent with Jen - a volunteer at the hatchery - she brought in some great examples of native plants provided by Amsterdam Nurseries. We also had some samples of common invasive plants many people came up to our table and almost everyone was surprised to find out that English ivy, English holly, Himalayan blackberry etc ., were all invasive! And everyone had seen Japanese knotweed but assumed it was bamboo - a common mistake! So it was a real learning experience for many and everyone was very keen to get more info about these invasive invaders.
Next weekend we will be at the Fingerling Festival in Port Moody put on by the Port Moody Ecological Society from 11 am -3 pm at the Port Moody Recreation Centre and Noon’s Creek Fish Hatchery this is a free, fun family event!
Last week we began a control project on Scotch Broom for BC MoTI on Hwy 91A next to City of New Westminster lands. This is a great project as it highlights the importance of cross jurisdictional efforts on invasive plants. New West has been actively controling Broom in this area and to help their effort, MoT is doing the same. Scotch Broom can be very difficult to pull out and I know that I personally have spent many sweaty hours using a weed wrench on some monster Broom plants. In order to be most efficient, we used the cut and paint approach. This approach is very fast as all it involves is cutting the Broom plant at its base and painting the stump with herbicide. This is a great approach as there is no risk (or almost no risk) or non target damage and very little herbicide is used. We are excited to follow this site for efficacy as we have not engaged in a large-scale broom control project such as this yet. Last year, we rarely controled Broom plants as they are lower on our priority list. We did treat several when they were on the same site as a priority species. I could not believe how quickly it went to treat these infestations. Watch our video blog on this treatment method by clicking "continue reading" below...
Today Jen from IPCMV and Kristina from the SSISC completed control work of Himalayan Blackberry in Shannon Falls Provincial Park. The park had several small infestations of Blackerry that were approximately 10 square meters in size each. It is rare for us to treat blackberry at all as it is often a low priority species for us. It was a treat to be in a park that is so free of invasives that we can manage blackberry and that the infestations were so small and easy to treat. After these treatments we are fairly certain that this park is free if invasives. Also a rare thing to say! Special thanks to Kristina of the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council for helping out today and for her awesome treatment maps! We put together a short video highlighting the work we did and talking briefly about proper manual control of blackberry. Remember always to get as much of the root crown out for maximum efficacy! Be careful, this invasive fights back! Ouch! Watch our video blog on this project by clicking "continue reading" below
I was lucky enough to give an Invasive Plant presentation on Mayne Island last week to the garden club there. It was a beautiful day on the island and I had the opportunity to tour around the island a little bit to look at their species of concern. While it is no surprise that Scotch Broom is a major concern on Vancouver Island and many of the Gulf Islands, I was surprised to learn (and see) that Daphne Laurel (Daphne laureloa) was a major emerging concern for them.