CVRD staff has identified nine invasive species with â€œparticularly high health, ecological, and environmental risks,â€ within the region and are looking at developing a master plan on how best to manage them.
Giant hogweed is one of the plants being eyed, according to Keith Lawrence, a senior environmental analyst with the CVRD.
â€œThe impacts from being burned by giant hogweed are very significant,â€ he said. â€œThe scars can last for several years.â€
Yellow iris, and Daphne/Spurge laurel also both have health risks. Others, he noted, include blessed milk thistle, various knotweed species, carpet burweed, tansy ragwort, poison hemlock, and Scotch broom.
Lawrence told the CVRDâ€™s regional services committee on Wednesday night that staff is researching both regulatory and non-regulatory invasive plant management options.
Among the regulatory options include the development of bylaws under the Weed Control and Local Government Acts.
Some non-regulatory options include the development of a public outreach and education plan, and application to be identified as a Regional Weed Committee under the B.C. Invasive Species Council.
â€œThe CVRD can play a key role in addressing invasive plant issues and thereby safeguard against the potential negative impacts on communities,â€ Lawrence said. â€œWe are really looking to seek guidance from this group in terms of which options weâ€™ll go with.â€
Costs associated with an invasive plant species management plan depend largely on what options the board opts to move forward with.
â€œThe more resources weâ€™re given, the more we can do,â€ he said.
Board Chair Rob Hutchins told a brief story of a child in his town that suffered greatly as a result of contact with a noxious plant.
â€œNot taking any action is not tolerable,â€ said Hutchins said.