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  • Writer's picture Lorna Visser

Routing out invasive plant species: we C-KISS and tell!

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Wetland restoration work spans the good, the bad and the ugly... but in the end, it creates desperately needed homes for frogs, toads, salamanders... amphibians and a whole panoply of wetland species.

The good: all the habitat created for endangered and threatened species. At our Snk'mip Marsh Sanctuary in the West Kootenay region of BC we have, to date, restored 21,200 square meters of wetland. It is painstaking work, done meter-by-meter under the direction of our wetland restoration expert Robin Annschild.

The bad: dealing with invasive plant species that need to be ruthlessly routed out, lest they out-compete the helpful native species needed in a healthy wetland. Our partner organization, the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) has been helping us for several years deal with replanting of native species and eradicating invasives.

The ugly: we can't deny it: it all looks a bit rough right after the necessary deep de-compaction and restoration work is done. Okay, it looks like a tornado tore through the area, uprooting trees and disturbing the land, or perhaps an avalanche...

But it's all in the service of restoration: when roads are removed, the deep decompaction is necessary to bring up topsoil, the coarse woody debris re-establishes texture and stability to the soil, and stabilizes slopes, slows down water absorption, and serves a variety of ecological purposes including providing shade and habitat for amphibians and reptiles. Once replanted with appropriate wetland species, give it a year to become beautiful additional wetland habitat.

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