Todd Larsen has always had a keen interest in wildlife biology and conservation, and communicating that passion through environmental education. He has worked in a variety of disciplines including spotted owl research in California, horse guiding in Jasper, and outdoor education in Nova Scotia.
With his position as Program Manager with the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council (EKIPC), Todd intends to expand upon EKIPC’s reputation as a regional leader of invasive species management. “I enjoy meeting with individuals and other organizations to discuss how EKIPC can help them reach their goals. The impacts of invasive species affect everyone. Responsible land management should be everyone’s priority, but sometimes adequate support or resources are lacking.”
Todd believes that education can lead to action. EKIPC is in the process of refining a targeted outreach plan to a variety of user groups in the East Kootenay region. “As residents and industries become more aware about the issue, they learn how to identify and report weed sightings, make behavioural changes to limit the spread, and advocate for more support to solve the problem”, explains Todd.
Recently, Todd has developed unique partnerships between EKIPC and other groups, such as:
• Madera Ranch, an RV park that allocates a portion of user fees to weed control in the surrounding community.
• Grassland & Rangeland Enhancement Program, to further engage ranchers with best management practices for weeds on their private and crown range lands.
• Rocky Mt Trench ER Program, assisting with curriculum-based educational resources for local students regarding grassland health.
Check out the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council’s website here.