Invasive Plant Program
The South Okanagan-Similkameen Invasive Plant Society (SOSIPS) is an organization comprised of a local coordinator and board of volunteer members that represent different agencies, ministries, not-for-profit organizations and natural resource companies in the Okanagan-Similkameen. The society and its members are dedicated to working together to prevent, monitor and control the spread of invasive plants in our community. Contact www.sosips.ca for more information.
Whether you live, work, or play in the Okanagan-Similkameen, invasive plants threaten many of the natural resources that you have come to appreciate, value or depend upon for your livelihood.
- Provides guidance and technical assistance to private landowners, community groups and local weed managers
- Develops and disseminates educational materials
- Educates school children and youth groups through "Bully Plant" presentations
- Assists regional management of invasive plants through the distribution of biological control agents, the natural enemies of weeds, on public and private lands
- Organizes field tours and workshop to raise awareness of invasive plants
What are Invasive Plants?
Invasive plants are typically non-native plants or "weeds" that have been introduced to British Columbia without the insect predators and plant pathogens that help keep them in check in their native habitats. Without their natural enemies, these invaders are able to rapidly outcompete native plants, ornamental species and agricultural crops. The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands has classified some of the most harmful invasive plants as "noxious weeds".
Everyone's Problem! Invasive plants negatively impact our local environment and economy by:
- reducing the agricultural productivity of our cropland and rangeland;
- lowering real estate values;
- endangering our health and well-being;
- dramatically damaging some of the region's unique scenic values and tourism opportunities;
- reducing water quality and fish habitat;
- altering the composition and structure of native plant communities; and
- destroying valuable wildlife habitat.
"Exotic species are the second largest threat to biodiversity on the planet"
(World Conservation Union 1998)
To view the top 12 most unwanted weeds in the Okanagan-Similkameen click here.