Join CKISS in Combating Invasive Species: May Declared Invasive Species Action Month

May 2024 has once again been declared Invasive Species Action Month in British Columbia. The Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) is urging residents across the region to familiarize themselves with the invasive plants and animals causing significant local problems. CKISS welcomes residents to participate in upcoming Communities Pulling Together events taking place in May and advocates for the adoption of simple best practices to prevent their spread.

Invasive species pose a grave threat to biodiversity, costing millions of dollars to manage annually. Throughout this month, CKISS hopes to educate individuals in the Kootenays on identifying, reporting, and preventing the spread of invasive species.

Spotted knapweed : an invasive plant that has taken hold in the Central Kootenays. It’s a destructive invader crowding out native plants and disrupting ecosystems. Let’s work together to combat its spread. Photo Credit: Nick Turland

Invasive plants can be introduced through the horticulture industry or introductions, such as through soil movement or recreational equipment. Additionally, invasive animals, like goldfish and red-eared slider turtles, can wreak havoc in the wild when pet owners release them.

Some of the invasive species encountered in the Central Kootenays include spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), knotweed (Fallopia spp./Polygonum ssp.), American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), and Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea).

Invasive knotweed: a costly pest disrupting infrastructure, property values, and land management efforts. Combatting its spread is crucial for economic stability. Photo credit: CKISS

The BC government annually designates May as ‘Invasive Species Action Month,’ recognizing the detrimental impact of invasive species on the environment, economy, society, and human health. CKISS encourages individuals to adopt simple best practices to prevent the spread of invasive species.

Gardeners can refer to the Grow Me Instead guide or Eco Garden plant lists for alternative plant options, while boaters, anglers, and paddlers can learn about Clean Drain Dry protocols. Outdoor enthusiasts can practice Play Clean Go principles, and pet owners are reminded not to release pets into the wild.

Play Clean Go
A mountain biker cleans their bike before hitting a new trail to prevent the spread of invasive plants. Small actions make a big difference in protecting our natural ecosystems Photo Credit: CKISS

Community involvement is vital in the fight against invasive species. CKISS invites residents to participate in upcoming Communities Pulling Together (CPT) events. These events involve volunteers mechanically removing invasive plant infestations while learning about their ecological impacts and proper removal and disposal techniques.

Registration is now open for the Slocan Valley CPT  event in Hills on May 24 and the Pulpit Rock CPT event on May 30 in Nelson. Visit the CKISS event page on the website to learn more and sign up.

Volunteers unite against Scotch broom at the Pulpit Rock Communities Pulling Together 2023 event! Together, we’re pulling our community towards a healthier, more resilient ecosystem.

For more information, visit or follow CKISS on Facebook and Instagram.