Inasive weeds spread out along the hillsides next to the Grey Canal Trail. (Submitted Photo)

Weeds taking over Vernon hillsides

LETTER: Doesn’t anyone care anymore?

I walk along the Grey Canal in each direction daily from the entrance at the top of Crosby Road and I am appalled at the way numerous types of invasive weeds are being allowed to spread along the canal and into adjoining agriculture and grass lands. Scotch thistle is one example and although an attempt was made last year to spray, it was made much too late in the year after it had gone to seed and it is rapidly multiplying all along the canal in both directions. It is already too late again this year as the young plants should have been sprayed at least a month ago. I enclose photos I took recently of scotch thistle spreading into the vineyard immediately above the entrance to the canal off Southwinds Road and into the field below the canal not far from the entrance at the top of Crosby Road.

Sulphur cinque foil has also spread all along the canal and into adjoining lands. Other rapidly spreading invasive species in abundance along the canal are dalmation toadflax, knapweed (two species that have already ruined the grass lands around White Lake in the South Okanagan) and field bindweed. The latest plant that seems to be out-competing the rest is yellow salsify (aka goats beard) which seems to have really become a problem over the past three years or so. This is the plant that can produce one or several yellow flowers which just now are turning into a large dandelion like puff-ball with 50 or more seeds. I must have dug out well over 200 of these plants from my garden patch and lawns already this year not to mention the drainage ditch at the side of our property.

It is my understanding that invasive weed control comes under the regional district but I am told that when the individual who was responsible for weed control left a few months ago he was not replaced. It would also seem that invasive weed control should be at least a provincial function as besides invasive weeds becoming a provincewide problem, many municipalities do not have the resources to eradicate new weeds when they appear or control others after they become established and start to replace native plants. It is obviously pointless having projects to plant native plants along our trails when they have already been replaced by invasive species against which they cannot compete. First, we have to eradicate the invasive weeds that replaced the native plants in the first place.

So, my question is obvious. ‘Doesn’t anyone care anymore?’

Hazel and Brian Sutch

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