Local Conservation Fund Feature Project: Neighbourhood Invasive Plant Program

The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) in partnership with the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) provides funding for projects that benefit conservation in the area from Spillimacheen to Canal Flats through the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF). The purpose of the CVLCF is to provide local financial support for important projects that will contribute to the conservation of our valuable natural areas; one step towards restoring and preserving a healthy environment.

nipp_logo_medThe Neighbourhood Invasive Plant Program (NIPP) Columbia Valley is a multi-year project which has been funded by the Local Conservation Fund for six years. This program is administered under the umbrella of the Neighbourhood Invasive Plant Program, offered region wide. This initiative is operated through a partnership between the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC) and the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK).

The intent of the NIPP is to increase awareness of invasive plants amongst private landowners and to support increased control efforts on private lands in the East Kootenay. NIPP was modeled after programs implemented in other jurisdictions and seeks to provide guidance, resources and financial support necessary to manage invasive plants on private lands through four unique program streams. They include; 1) free sprayer loan out; 2) new invader rebate; 3) cost sharing rebate; 4) herbicide rebate.

Since its introduction in 2010, the program in the Columbia Valley has pre-approved landowners for over $82,000 in funding for invasive plant control efforts. Of this figure, over $50,000 has actually been put ‘on the ground’ to fund invasive plant treatments on private lands within Electoral Areas F & G (including municipalities). Dozens of landowners have benefited from this program since it began. The majority of applicants are those involved in the agriculture industry. These landowners see NIPP as an important tool in helping them to protect and restore ecological, economic and social values on private land in the Columbia Valley.

Effective management of invasive plants requires a landscape level approach and NIPP certainly complements efforts being taken on the Crown land base in the Columbia Valley. It is hoped that this program will continue well into the future. For more information on the program, please visit the EKISC website at www.ekisc.com