Tobacco Plains grassland and open forest restoration
This project will: 1) help control invasive plants on grasslands and open forests on Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve and will improve habitat for multiple species, including ungulates; 2) support recovery of rare and threatened species; 3) improve habitat connectivity with Crown land; and 4) engage First Nations and community members in land stewardship. Now in year five of a proposed five-year collaboration between Keefer Ecological Services Ltd. (KES) and Tobacco Plains Indian Band (TPIB), this project will continue treatment and monitoring to restore grassland and open forest habitat.
Update: Goats eating up invasive plants on the Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve
A project using 195 goats to manage the invasive plant sulphur cinquefoil on eight hectares of rangeland on the Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve is working.
Following the goat grazing treatments, the growth and reproduction of the invasive plant was reduced. After one grazing event, above-ground biomass and the number of seed heads of sulphur cinquefoil were reduced by 73% and 85%, respectively. After two grazing events, above-ground biomass and the number of seed heads were reduced by 93% and 99%, respectively.
The project, funded by the FWCP and Columbia Basin Trust, was initiated in late spring 2019 by the Tobacco Plains Indian Band, in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan and Keefer Ecological Services Ltd.
Sulphur cinquefoil has formed dense continuous stands on rangeland throughout the East Kootenay and is not eaten by wildlife due to its unpleasant taste. The study assesses the effectiveness of goat grazing to manage sulphur cinquefoil.
Final report: executive summary
Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve (TPIR), located within the southern Rocky Mountain Trench of British Columbia (BC), spans 5,261 ha, the majority of which is rangeland and open forest habitat. Firesuppression practices and overgrazing have greatly reduced the health of these systems, making them susceptible to invasion by invasive plants. Since 2015, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) has supported efforts by Keefer Ecological Services Ltd. (KES) and Tobacco Plains Indian Band (TPIB) to conduct invasive plant management on TPIR, aiding in the recovery of rangeland and open forest habitats. With support from FWCP, as well as the Columbia Basin Trust, efforts continued in 2019, which included monitoring, herbicide application, and the initiation of a research study with the University of Saskatchewan.
Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.