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Report: Tobacco Plains Invasive Plant Management COL-F20-W-3057

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Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve (TPIR), located within the southern Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia (BC), spans 5,261 ha, the majority of which is rangeland and open forest habitat. Fire suppression practices and overgrazing have greatly reduced the health of these systems, making them susceptible to invasion by invasive plants.

Author:  Myra Juckers,

Old Reference Number:  COL-F20-W-3057

Old Reference System:  FWCP - Fish Wildlife Compensation Program Columbia

Date Published:  Jun 2020

Report ID:  58891

Audience:  Government and Public

Since 2015, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) has supported efforts by Keefer Ecological Services Ltd. (KES) and Tobacco Plains Indian Band (TPIB) to conduct invasive plant management on TPIR, aiding in the recovery of rangeland and open forest habitats. With support from FWCP, as well as the Columbia Basin Trust, efforts continued in 2019, which included monitoring, herbicide application, and the initiation of a research study with the University of Saskatchewan. Efforts continued to manage the leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) infestation. The infestation size was estimated to be 1.9 ha, which was a 0.2 ha decrease from 2018. Since 2015, the distribution of leafy spurge has consistently been 5 (a few patches or clumps of a species) to 6 (several well-spaced patches or clumps) with a density of 3 (6 to 10 plants / m2) to 4 (> 10 plants/m2). In 2019, a notable change was observed, with the distribution determined as 4 (several sporadically occurring individuals) and 5, and density ranging from 1 (≤ 1 plant/m2) to 4. Tordon 22K and glyphosate were sprayed in the area in late June to sustain the decline in the infestation size and the distribution and density of leafy spurge plants. Over the years, treatment of orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) with the herbicide Milestone has been met with moderate to high success. In 2019, approximately 2.8 ha of open forest and forest was sprayed with herbicide to control the spread and expansion of orange hawkweed infestations. However, new infestations of orange hawkweed continue to be found. Surveying for orange hawkweed in areas where it is commonly found, and continued application of Milestone, is needed to control its spread. Treatment of spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) with Milestone in rangeland, open forests, and clearings has also been met with moderate to high success; however, reemergence of spotted knapweed in areas sprayed in 2015 and 2016 was observed, highlighting the importance of monitoring to determine if re-treatment is necessary. Further, spread of spotted knapweed along roadsides throughout the reserve has been increasing. In 2019, approximately 6.78 km of roadside was sprayed with herbicide to control the spread of spotted knapweed throughout the reserve. Treating roadsides is critical to prevent the establishment of spotted knapweed in rangelands and open forests. Blueweed (Echium vulgare) was identified at the TPIB sawmill. To manage its spread, the plant was manually removed and the area from which it was removed was sprayed with Milestone. New patches of scentless chamomile (Tripleurospermum inodorum) were identified at the sawmill; however, the area was not able to be treated. Scentless chamomile has not been identified at any other location on TPIR, highlighting the importance of managing this infestation to prevent its spread to other areas on the reserve. Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) was successfully managed; however, continued monitoring is critical to determine if the infestation re-emerges. A field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) infestation, treated with herbicide in 2015 and 2016, re-emerged in 2019. The patch was less than 0.25 m2 in size and Milestone was sprayed on the patch to continue management efforts. Further, a 1.11 ha area in the southern reach of the reserve was treated with Milestone to manage infestations of Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare), yellow hawkweed (Hieracium spp.) and hounds tongue (Cynoglossum officinale), which emerged following forest thinning efforts in 2018.

Report Type
  Region - Kootenay
  Vegetation - Vegetation (VRI)

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