EK Invasive Plant Council reflects on year just passing

Todd Larsen and Katie Young are the new faces of the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council.

  • Dec. 19, 2013 5:00 p.m.

Changes were afoot with the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council (EKIPC) this year.  New to the team are Katie Young and Todd Larsen.

Todd is the new Program Manager with EKIPC. He recently completed a Masters of Science degree in Agriculture, with research focusing on the biology, ecological impacts, and management options of Japanese Knotweed in Nova Scotia. Before joining EKIPC in September Todd worked as an invasive species ecologist with Dalhousie University, where he conducted research and reported the findings at various meetings, conferences, and in the media. Prior to completing his schooling, Todd lived in the Kootenays where he ran a ski school and was the owner/operator of a landscaping business in Rossland.

Todd works from his home office in Kimberley and is eager to work with the EKIPC board and staff to run a sustainable and effective invasive species council.

Katie Young is the new Field Operations Co-ordinator.  She joined EKIPC last June and has just completed her first successful summer with EKIPC.  Katie is a recent graduate from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a degree in Natural Resource and Conservation Science and loves her new work with EKIPC. She has moved to Fernie and is looking forward to spending her free time on the ski hill or the mountain trails in the area.

This summer saw the first aquatic-based program, managed by Sue Crowley for EKIPC. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations provided contract funding to conduct watercraft inspections and public education regarding aquatic invasive species. The objective was to increase public awareness and communication about this issue and engage partner groups with activities in the East Kootenay. Between August 9 and September 8, 2013, over 675 individual contacts were made with boaters and recreationalists at 10 lakes in the East Kootenay, and/or at public or special events during this timeframe.

The EKIPC council is made up of representatives from Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Regional District of East Kootenay, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Kootenay Livestock Association, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Teck Coal, Parks Canada and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource Society.

A new website for the council is nearing a launch in January, 2014. The refreshed site will contain educational information, how to report invasive plant problems and council contact information.

To contact Todd to discuss Invasive Plant management strategies call 1-888-55EKIPC or email coordinator@ekipc.com.