Closing agricultural research facility: invasive weed impact

Spotted knapweed, hound’s tongue, Dalmatian toad flax – we’ve all seen invasive weeds in our region and within the city of Kamloops, even if we haven’t recognized them as such.

With the slated closure of the agricultural research station (Kamloops Daily News, May 10, 2013, Feds to shut down ag research station) some Kamloops Naturalist Club (KNC) members are concerned that, among other things, this will halt research into invasive weed management on interior range lands.

And that could have an impact on the work of the Southern Interior Weed Management Committee (SIWMC)

In her report on the spring AGM of SIWMC, Joan Best, KNC member, highlighted the origin and work of this committee.

The organization was put together years ago by Bruno Delesalle, of the Grasslands Conservation Council, Phil Youwe, Ministry of Forests, and others concerned about the spreading menace and resulting loss of range for cattle, caused by knapweed and other invasive plants. It was realized that it was too late to achieve eradication of these plants but at least a good measure of control was sought and seems to have been achieved. This is thanks to our local committee as well as others throughout the interior.

Public awareness of these plants, formerly named noxious but now termed invasive, is all important as everyone, whatever their mode of transport, potentially contributes to the spread of knapweed and others. Awareness of these plants allows us to avoid them wherever possible.

This year the SIWMC has finalized a system of categorizing the various plants of concern and rating them as to their level of importance and treatment. There are 81 such plants listed! However, those of most concern locally are the knapweeds followed closely by hoary alyssum, the thistles and the rest. The booklet, “Field Guide to Noxious and Other Selected Weeds of British Columbia”, is available from the SIWMC office as are several other publications.

As well, the Grasslands Conservation Council booklet, “Best Management Practices for Motorize Recreation on BC’s Grasslands”, is available. This sets out an excellent list of recommendations for such outdoor recreation and would also be useful for distribution to local clubs and individuals who recreate in this manner.

*Southern Interior Weed Management Committee office, 200-1383 McGill road, Kamloops, BC, V2C 6K7.
*Coordinator, Jo-Ann Fox, phone 250-851-1699, or e-mail jfox(at)
*Further information may be found at the Invasive Plant Council website,

According to the Kamloops Daily News, June 26, 2013, (City lobbies senior governments over agricultural station’s future) Kamloops’ Agriculture Advisory Committee, MP Cathy McLeod, and federal representatives involved with the research station, have been discussing the formation of a sub-committee consisting of representatives for the cattle producers, TRU, First Nations, the City, provincial and federal governments. It would look into the potential for the research station property and how it could be kept in the agricultural sector.

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