On the Ground: Leafy Spurge Surveillance and Management and Towards Establishing an Invasive Plant Council for the Province of MB
Funded through Invasive Alien Species Partnership Program, Environment Canada.
Leafy spurge is on the World Conservation Union’s list of the 100 worst invasive alien species. Leafy spurge is a threat to biodiversity in nature lands and agricultural lands, and costs Manitobans in excess of $20 million per year. The goal of this project, On the Ground: Leafy Spurge Surveillance and Management and Towards Establishing an Invasive Plant Council for the Province of Manitoba , was to prevent the spread of and enhance management efforts for leafy spurge in Manitoba and to facilitate discussion around forming an Invasive Plants Council for the Province of Manitoba . Such a Council would increase coordination of activities related to invasive species in the Province and provide a single window of contact with federal government departments.
Support available through this project was to provide frontline workers of municipalities, weed districts and conservation districts with the resources needed to prevent the spread of leafy spurge. Project personnel helped to monitor leafy spurge, feeding data into the Prairie Region Noxious Weed Survey and Mapping System database, and document control methods based on the data and maps, which will enable jurisdictions to undertake ongoing review and revision of their weed management plans (WMPs). This project also enhanced awareness through outreach initiatives directed at users of recreational lands, such as hunters; municipalities; agricultural producers; and the public at large. These initiatives aimed to create support for containment and control plans and to minimize the environmental and economic impacts, as well as prevent the spread of leafy spurge. Finally, the project facilitated discussions around forming an Invasive Plants Council for the Province of Manitoba. Discussions among a broad base of stakeholders were to examine potential goals and objectives, and governance structure of an Invasive Plants Council. A provincial Invasive Plants Council will enable the Canadian Plant Protection Network (PlantProNet) at the national level to link with Manitoba (as identified in the Action Plan for Invasive Alien Terrestrial Plants and Plant Pests).
The project addressed the priorities of the Government of Canada by enhancing surveillance, diagnostics and management of leafy spurge as an established and spreading invader. The project engaged stakeholders in management strategies, to include enhancing awareness of leafy spurge issues (including plant identification and its threat to biodiversity) as well as its impact on the environment, economy and society. Facilitated discussions around the establishment of an Invasive Plants Council for the Province of Manitoba to provide opportunity to enhance existing partnerships and develop new ones. A provincial Council could provide a coordinated and mutually supportive approach to the prevention, detection and management of invasive species. A provincial organization will have the potential of providing a single window of contact with local, provincial/regional, national and international partners.