Invasive Species Management

What Is An Invasive Species?

Invasive plants and animals that are not native to our natural environment. They can harm us, local wildlife and our ecosystems.

Why Are Invasive Species A Problem? 

Invasive species can impact:

  • Human health, safety and recreation options
  • Our economy (Property values, industry and infrastructure)
  • Our animals (pets and livestock)
  • Our environment (ecosystems, wildlife and biodiversity)

Next to habitat loss, invasive species are the biggest threat to biodiversity. Invasive species have the ability to establish quickly in new areas and spread rapidly due to the lack of natural predators.

Which Species Should I Watch For In North Cowichan? 

Although many invasive species exist on Vancouver Island, North Cowichan is actively monitoring and managing the following plants as well as other new arrivals:

Where Can I Learn More About Invasive Species?

To learn more about invasive species, how to identify them and how to help to reduce their spread, visit the Invasive Species Council of BC's Website.

What Should I Do If I See An Invasive Species? 

Please report invasive species sightings using the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Invasive Alien Plant Program (IAPP) or download the Report-A-Weed App for IPhone or Android Phone.  You can also contact staff at the Municipal Hall for help with species identification and discuss management options.

How Is North Cowichan Managing Invasive Species?

The Municipality treats invasive plants on municipal lands on a priority basis so they do not pose a risk to our residents, pets, local wildlife or infrastructure.  Staff also work with local property owners to control invasive plant populations on private property under provisions in our Unsightly Premesis Bylaw.  The Municipal Forestry Program also treats invasive plants to reduce fire hazards, increase sightlines along roads, help juvenile trees get established and to prevent plants from invading new areas.  

What About Weeds In Cracks And Crevices Adjacent To My Property?

If weeds growing in gutter lines, asphalt cracks, and sidewalk expansion joints are left unchecked they can damage the road and sidewalk surfaces and create a safety hazard. The Municipality's  weed control program for cracks and crevices intendeds to reduce damage from weed growth in these areas. While the Municipality endeavours to reduce or eliminate the non-essential use of chemical pesticides on municipally owned lands, certain plant species and situations still warrant their use.   Herbicide is applied directly on plants in the spring (usually around May) by qualified contractors in compliance with Provincial Regulation.

North Cowichan residents can contact the Operations Department at 250-746-3106 to be placed on a notification list. Residents on this list will be called in advance of herbicide applications to give them an opportunity to manually remove weeds adjacent to their property.