Canadian Council on Invasive Species | CCIS

Read Highlights of the National Invasive Species Forum

Ottawa | Feb 28 - Mar 2, 2017

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Canadian Council

on Invasive Species

Take Action

Stop Invasives

There are many things you can do to help slow the spread of invasive species.  One of the most effective ways to manage invasive species is to Take Action and Get Involved.  Here are some easy action steps you can take:

Campers

Whether you use a tent, RV, or nothing but the clear blue sky, it's important to not accidentally move invasive species from place to place, particularly in firewood.  Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

  1. Come clean: Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.
  2. Use only local or certified firewood: Before camping, check for any firewood restrictions at your intended campsite.  Shop ahead of time to locate a source of firewood near your campsite.  Burn all of the wood you bring or leave it with the campsite host.
  3. Use weed-free or certified hay: Use weed-free hay when horseback riding or using hay for other purposes.  When using hay for other purposes and weed-free hay is not available, use straw because it is less likely to carry weed seeds.
  4. Stay on designated trails: Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, biking, or riding your horse or OHV.
  5. Leave clean: Before leaving your campsite, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs.  Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you or your belongings.  Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home.  Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.

Trail Users

Whether walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or OHV, it's important to make sure you don't accidentally move invasive species from place to place.  Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent the spread of invasive species.

  1. Come clean: Before leaving home, take a little time to inspect and remove dirt, plants, and bugs from clothing, boots, gear, pets, and vehicles.
  2. Use weed-free or certified hay: When horseback riding, use weed-free or certified hay.  When using hay for other purposes and weed-free hay is not available, use straw because it is less likely to carry weed seeds.
  3. Stay on designated trails: Stay on the designated trail when walking, hiking, running, biking, or riding your horse or OHV.
  4. Leave clean: Before leaving, inspect your belongings and remove any dirt, plants, or bugs.  Invasive plant seeds can be stuck on you, your pets, or equipment.  Likewise, pests that attack trees can hide in firewood that you bring home.  Weed seeds in infested hay can be blown offsite as you move down the road or left behind in animal waste.

Homeowners

Not all non-native plants are bad.  But some really attractive plants can escape into natural areas and become harmful invaders.  By following these few steps you can help manage your garden and help preserve neighboring wildlands.

  1. Be informed: Learn about the invasive species that are a problem in your area.  If you see them for sale at your local nursery, let them know about your concerns.  Learn about and use native plants that grow well in your area.
  2. Use plants known to be good neighbors: Avoid non-native plants that self-seed because they may move outside your garden.
  3. Know your plant source: Inquire about the source of the plants you buy.  Plants grown in your region are likely to fare better.  Make sure they are labeled properly.  Young woody plants may be difficult to identify until they begin to flower.  Make sure the potted plants you buy are free of any weeds.
  4. Use certified or "weed-free" material: Inquire about the source of any material you bring into your yard, including soil, mulch, gravel, or decorative rock.  Where available, buy certified weed-free material.

Field Workers

By following these simple steps, you can protect your business investments, enhance work relationships, and protect the environment.

  1. Come clean: Before leaving the shop, take a little time to inspect your gear and remove dirt, plants, and seeds from clothing, boots, gear, and vehicles.
  2. Use weed-free materials: When bringing soil, gravel, or other material onto a work site, check your sources to make sure they are weed-free.  When the only available sources are known to be infested with invasive plants, scrape off the top 6 inches of material and set aside.  Then use the newly exposed material for the project at hand.
  3. Burn or utilize wood waste: Pallets, packing material, and containers made from untreated wood can harbour plant pests.  Plan ahead to either burn or utilize wood waste.  One option is chipping the wood and selling it as biofuel.
  4. Stay in designated areas: Check with the project manager to identify designated areas for parking and areas for storing supplies and equipment.  Then stay within those designated areas.
  5. Start at the cleanest site:  When mowing, grading, or doing other work that involves moving from site to site, plan your work so that you start at the least infested site and finish at the most infested site.  Between sites, use a brush or hand tool to remove accumulations of mud and plant debris.
  6. Leave clean: Before heading back to the shop, inspect your vehicle and gear.  When available, use a power washer or air compressor to remove any dirt, plants, seeds, or bugs.  When these are not available, use a brush or other hand tool to knock off dirt clods and plant debris.

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Report It

  • If you see an invasive species, report it!
  • Early detection and reporting is the first and most important step in managing invasive species, and can help to prevent their spread.  Invasive species that are not reported are not managed and will spread out of control.
  • By reporting an invasive species, you are alerting the experts who can then deal with potentially disastrous situations, and help minimize the damage that they can cause.  The more people we have reporting, the more successful invasive species management will be.
  • Contact your provincial or territorial invasive species council to report any invasive species sightings.  If a provincial or territorial invasive species council doesn't exist where you live, contact the appropriate provincial or territorial government ministry (environment, transportation, agriculture, etc.)
  • Remember to include as many details as possible, such as where it was found (address or directions), when it was found, how many there were, and any other information you feel is important.  Take a picture!  Your province or territory may also participate in an online invasive species reporting system such as EDDMapS or iMapInvasives.  Although you should also input your sighting into relevant online reporting system, it may not result in treatment of the invasive species you saw so contacting an invasive species council or ministry should be your first action.

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Get Involved

Educate Yourself, Family and Neighbours

  • Learn to recognize the common invaders in your area and keep an eye out for signs of new ones.  Go to Resources for links to invasive species identification.  Then check the areas around your home, work, and recreation sites to locate any potential infestations.
  • Let your local nursery grower know about your concerns about invasive species.  Inquire about the source of plants you buy.
  • When on outings, share your knowledge with your family.  Teach them how to identify invasive species and how to avoid spreading them.
  • Let your neighbourhood organization know about local infestations and discuss management options.

Join a Local Community Weed Pull

  • Check with your provincial or territorial invasive species council, local government, parks departments or nature stewardship groups locally to find out when and where they are planning their next big pull.  Some groups across the country have been working in their area for decades to get the weeds out.  Check out the success and fun they have at the Vancouver Island Broom Busters.
  • Can't find one to join?  How about starting your own?

Host a Local Event

  • Provincial, regional and territorial invasive species organizations have utilized a variety of strategies in community events across the country.  They have teamed up with recreational groups such as hikers, ATV clubs, gardening groups, birders, stewardship groups, lake associations, etc., to organize and deliver awareness events that educate the public to their role in spreading invasive species through their favourite outdoor activity.  Once most people become aware of how they have been unintentionally spreading invasive species to new areas, they are keen on learning how to prevent.  Check our partner list for activities in your area.  Use the PlayCleanGo resources in your own event to spread the word!
  • Set up an informational display booth at a local event.  Schedule a special event to coincide with Earth Day, World Water Day, National Wildlife Week, Recreation and Parks Month, Canadian Environment Week, or whenever the opportunity arises.  Use PlayCleanGo materials to create a display or banner.  A simple table will do in a pinch.  Make your display materials fun and interactive.  Use your imagination to create games and other fun family activities.  Involve local businesses and service organizations.  Their members can help staff your booth.  Or, they may be willing to cover the cost of supplies or donate prizes for your games.  Be sure to acknowledge their contributions.

Other Family Friendly Activities

  • Invasive species scavenger hunt
  • Take-Your-Photo opportunities
  • Did-You-Know flip-up boards
  • Guessing games
  • Colouring or photo contests
  • Walking tours of native and non-native plants