Regional district's invasive plant manager asking for public's assistance to control weeds

Armagost said she was particularly trying to educate residents on three invasive plant species that tend to be popular amongst local gardeners – Mountain Bluet, Dame's Rocket and Common Tansy. She said while those plants are nice to look at, they can spread through both root and seed and can be very aggressive when they get into farmer's fields.

She said Common Tansy is especially popular for its medicinal properties, and she recommends if residents are going to grow the plant to do so in a container, or to dead-head the plant(s) before they seed.

The regional district created a buzz earlier this summer when it hired a goat herder with 400 goats to graze the area of the Peace Valley Lookout Site near Fort St. John in an attempt to control an outbreak of Dalmatian Toadflax. Armagost said the goats have since finished grazing but the district continues to monitor site.

She said the wet weather in recent months has set back the district's weed spraying program this year, so she and her contractors are trying to make up for lost time this month. With limited resources and a huge region to cover, she said it is critically important that everybody in the region help to report and mitigate the spread of weeds.

Armagost added private landowners do have a responsibility to control the spread of invasive plants, and she does have the authority under law to take action if that is not being done. She encouraged anyone with questions or concerns about weeds to contact her at (250) 784-3227 or via email at elaine.armagost@prrd.bc.ca.

More information on invasive plant management in the district can also be found online at www.prrd.bc.ca.