The Broombusters Invasive Plant Society wants the province to officially label the invasive species Scotch broom as a noxious weed. (File photo)

The Broombusters Invasive Plant Society wants the province to officially label the invasive species Scotch broom as a noxious weed. (File photo)

Province being asked to label Scotch broom as noxious weed

Victoria also asked to help stop spread of the invasive plant species

The Broombusters Invasive Plant Society is kicking its long-standing campaign to fight the proliferation of Scotch broom on Vancouver Island up a notch.

The society is asking local governments to endorse a resolution that will be forwarded to the Union of B.C. Municipalities requesting that the UBCM call on the province to establish the invasive species Scotch broom as a noxious weed.

The society also wants the province to establish laws to mitigate its spread on lands controlled by Crown corporations and lands within provincial control.

RELATED STORY: BROOM BUSTING SEASON IS UPON US

In addition, the society is asking local governments to establish their own bylaws to categorize Scotch broom as a noxious weed, complete with regulations to mitigate its spread.

In a letter to the Municipality of North Cowichan, the society’s executive director Joanne Sales said a study by the Invasive Species Council of BC concluded that Scotch broom is the invasive species that is causing the greatest harm to species at risk in the province.

She said Scotch broom is spreading over huge areas of B.C., and the infested areas will not return to forests, meadows or farms.

“While Broombuster volunteers are doing a great job of getting control of broom in the municipalities, there is a serious need for government bodies and representatives to take action, or we’ll lose this fight about this dangerously aggressive invasive plant,” Sales said.

“The situation will just continue to get worse without government action. We cannot leave this problem to our children.”

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN ASKED TO HELP DEAL WITH SCOTCH BROOM

In the letter, Sales singles out BC Hydro, a Crown corporation, and its practice of allowing Scotch broom to spread on the land occupied by its transmission lines on Vancouver Island.

As well as crowding out indigenous plant species, she said allowing a highly volatile invasive plant to grow densely over the extensive network of transmission lines from Campbell River to Victoria creates a dangerous pathway for wildfires to spread quickly across the Island

“While BC Hydro recognizes broom is a fire hazard, it can be perceived that the company benefits from Scotch broom growing in the transmission lines because it prevents trees from growing,” she said.

“The company acknowledges that it will continue to let Scotch broom spread freely because there is no pressure from government entities, and because broom is not classified as a noxious weed.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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Environment