Our changing ecosystems, the invasive species threat

On April 17 the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council will be hosting its fourth annual AGM and speaker series “Our Changing Ecosystems.”

By Marty Hafke

EKIPC

On April 17 the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council will be hosting its fourth annual AGM and speaker series “Our Changing Ecosystems.”

As residents and visitors to this region are well aware, the East Kootenay is home to some of the most spectacular landscapes anywhere on the planet.  These landscapes house an intricate web of flora and fauna that form multiple interconnected ecosystems, from the world renowned Columbia Wetlands to the spectacular grasslands of the Rocky Mountain Trench to the old growth forests of the Elk Valley, these diverse ecosystems have evolved over millennia and provide this region with a strong economic and cultural backbone.

Healthy, resilient ecosystems are often characterized by an abundance of diversity, yet one of the biggest threats to ecosystem diversity is the introduction and spread of invasive species. These introduced species have the ability to reproduce rapidly and out-compete native species while largely existing free from predation and disease. As habitat is lost to these introduced species, native species may become rare, endangered or even extirpated. As species are lost, ecosystems become less diverse and thus less resilient. In some cases invasive species can completely wipe out entire ecosystems, replacing them with virtual monocultures.

Think for a moment how the introduction of Zebra Mussels into the Great Lakes has impacted those ecosystems and resulted in economic impacts tallied in the billions of dollars.  Now consider that already in 2012, six boats in Idaho have been intercepted carrying live Quagga Mussels.  If one boat carrying one live mussel were to put in to Lake Koocanusa we would be witness to one of the biggest environmental disasters this region has seen.

The East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council (EKIPC) will be exploring this and other ideas related to “Our Changing Ecosystems” at our Annual Speaker Series and AGM on April 17 at the Prestige Inn in Cranbrook. We have secured an exciting line up of speakers to discuss ecosystem change from a number of different perspectives.

Kelly Cooley, the Southern Alberta Weed Coordinator, will kick things off with his insightful and entertaining perspective on invasive species and ecosystem change. The renowned and respected Thomas Woolf (Aquatic Plant Program Manager for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture) will then present on his experiences with aquatic invasive species in Idaho and the threat that is posed to the East Kootenay if any of these species are ever introduced here. Michael Keefer (Keefer Ecological Services Inc.) will be presenting on plant and grass species used in reclamation and how they are changing our native ecosystems. We are also very lucky to have Lesley Tannen, the Executive Director of the BC Landscape and Nursery Association present on the horticulture industry and the new and updated “Grow Me Instead” publication that will be available for the first time at the AGM. EKIPC Coordinator, Marty Hafke will wrap things up with a presentation on EKIPC’s exciting projects for 2012 as well as some concrete ideas on how individuals and groups can get involved.

We invite you to come on down and join the discussion. Pre registration is required.  To register, contact EKIPC Coordinator Marty Hafke at 1-888-55-EKIPC or coordinator@ekipc.com.

 

Just Posted

Elkford councillor Joe Zarowny remembered

The District of Elkford today announced the passing of long time councillor,… Continue reading

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Fernie arena tragedy “wake up call” for global refrigeration industry

Technical Safety BC’s incident report shared across 60 countries, reaching as far as Poland

Lake Koocanusa under the microscope

Wildsight, Sierra Club BC, Headwaters Montana and U.S. university launch water sampling program

Province offers support ahead of Fernie arena tragedy anniversary

Loss of three men in workplace incident motivates Labour Minister to make B.C. safer

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Meet the City of Fernie candidates

Voters in Fernie will vote for one Mayor, six Councillors and one School Board Trustee on October 20

Meet the District of Sparwood candidates

Voters in Sparwood will vote for one Mayor and six Councillors on October 20

Meet the District of Elkford candidates

The Elkford Chamber of Commerce will host an All Candidates Forum on October 4

EU’s Barnier hopes Brexit deal possible in ‘coming weeks’

Britain is set to leave the European Union in March, but a Brexit agreement must be sealed in coming weeks to leave enough time for relevant parliaments to ratify it.

Earth samples show dust from B.C. pipeline blast not a health threat: Enbridge

Enbridge says earth sampling shows mineral and metal composition is well below provincial and federal standards for urban and residential areas.

Postal services ready for looming wave of legal cannabis deliveries

Legal cannabis is set to usher in a wave of high-value, age-restricted parcels in the mail system, and delivery companies say they’re ready.

Mega Millions prize of $654M is nation’s 4th-largest

No one has won the U.S. jackpot in almost three months

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Most Read