Invasive Species coverence planned for Lacombe

The Alberta Invasive Species Council is holding its first conference in Lacombe on March 12.

The Alberta Invasive Species Council is holding its first conference in Lacombe on March 12.

The Edmonton-based council was previously known as the Alberta Invasive Plants Council but changed it in 2013 to reflect the non-profit’s evolution ­— it has expanded its scope and is no longer focused primarily on invasive plants.

The council’s overall goal is to “protect Albertans from the economic, environmental and social impacts of invasive species” such as flowering rush and Himilayan balsam and zebra and quagga mussels.

Justin Bush, the invasive species co-ordinator at the Lady Bird Johnson Center at the University of Texas in Austin, will be the keynote speaker for the conference, which also includes the council’s annual general meeting.

Bush will discuss how to engage the public in the fight against invasive species.

He managed the Noxious Weed Control Program as the invasive species program co-ordinator for Skamania County in Washington, working on aquatic and terrestrial invasive species control and habitat restoration projects.

Bush also co-ordinated and managed the invasive species inventory and treatment information for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in the southern part of the state.

The council is working on a number of initiatives, which include collaborating with a range of provincial, national and international stakeholders to create new biocontrol and chemical solutions for invasive plants.

It is also developing more educational materials such as fact sheets, a new resource called the Invader Ranger workbook for use in schools, and a Spotters’ Network to find and map new populations of key invasive species.

One-year memberships are $31.50 per person or $10.50 for seniors or students or $105 for an organization.

For more information, visit www.abinvasives.ca.

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