Scotch broom started as an ornamental plant that escaped and took well to Vancouver Island’s climate. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror

Scotch broom started as an ornamental plant that escaped and took well to Vancouver Island’s climate. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District considers invasive weeds bylaw

Broombusters’ Joanne Sales tells ACRD a bylaw would help curb spread of Scotch broom

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District is considering a bylaw to control the spread of invasive weeds such as Scotch broom.

Joanne Sales of the Broombusters made her annual presentation about Scotch broom at the March 23 ACRD meeting. Broom is a highly invasive weed on Vancouver Island that crowds out native plants and is toxic to most animals. The plant’s high oil content also makes it extremely flammable, which is cause for concern during wildfire season.

Scotch broom was introduced to Vancouver Island in the mid-1800s as an ornamental plant, but since then it has spread rapidly and densely across the Island, taking over disturbed soil along roads and railways.

Port Alberni city councillor and ACRD director Ron Corbeil pointed out that the City of Port Alberni already has an invasive species bylaw, which prohibits the growth of noxious weeds on any property (including scotch broom). However, the ACRD does not have such a bylaw yet.

“It’s certainly something that can be investigated,” said Mike Irg, the ACRD’s general manager of planning and development.

Sales pointed out that the amount of broom around the Nanaimo area has already decreased since the municipality implemented a similar bylaw.

“Bylaws are so helpful,” said Sales.

Director Tanya Shannon said she would be interested in pursuing a bylaw.

“We’ve had these presentations before,” said Shannon. “I want to really go after it this year.”

ACRD board chair John Jack said the topic could either be brought to a future committee of the whole meeting or an Electoral Area Directors Committee meeting for more discussion.

“I think something coordinated across the region would make a lot of sense,” said Jack.



elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District

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