Powerhouse Foreshore Restoration Project Maintenance Program
This project’s goals are to:
- remove invasive plant species that threaten the continued success of the restoration work that has taken place to-date,
- develop a management plan for encroaching sage stands, and thin the stands if research confirms this strategy, and
- increase density and diversity of native shrubs.
After an area has been disturbed, it takes time to re-establish native species and create viable habitat for species-at-risk, therefore continued weed management and revegetation efforts are necessary to ensure this area continues its transformation into a healthy and functioning ecosystem, and stakeholder investment, including FWCP, is protected.
Species expected to benefit include: Interior Western Screech-Owl, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Yellow-Bellied Racer, Great Basin Gopher Snake, and Black Cottonwood riparian areas. A decrease in invasive weed species composition and quantities on-site will decrease the seedbank, with the goal of eliminating targeted species from the site. Knapweed, Dalmation Toadflax, Kochia, and Russian Thistle have decreased significantly, but will still need a sweep through the site at the appropriate schedules; Alfalfa and Sow Thistle are still in need of removal; Cheat Grass and Bulbous Bluegrass will never be eliminated, but with over-planting they could be controlled.
An added benefit to the restoration works and elimination of invasive species is the increase in plants that have high St’at’imc food, medicinal, and cultural values. In conjunction with our outreach work, ethnobotany is seeing an increased interest and people have been harvesting berries, Indian Hemp, Giant Wildrye and Cottonwood Mushrooms from the site.
Final Report: Executive Summary
During 2016-17, management work continued to ensure that the investment made into the Powerhouse site over the years was protected. Management of invasive plant species and maintenance of past works encourages native species to spread, thereby optimizing wildlife values. Appendix A Page 17-18 of the Watershed Plan places a “high” value on invasive plant management “as it was felt that invasive plant species are affecting many of the high priority habitats”.
Invasive weed management took place over the entire 15 ha site, with a focus on the 5 ha upland bench where the majority of invasive plant species are found. Between 12 April 2016 and 21 September 2016 a total of five weed-blitz days were completed for a total of 189 crewhours. An additional eight days were spent irrigating and weeding the site with smaller crews for a total of 78 crew-hours. Invasive plants removed during 2016 included the usual species that have been treated over the past several years – mustards, salsify, alfalfa, cheat grass, prickly lettuce, bulbous bluegrass, bindweed, knapweed, white clover, Dalmatian toadflax, Russian thistle and Kochia. No observations were made of new invasive plant species encroaching into the site. Minimal invasive weed removal was required within the riparian area or on the large sandbar, where predominately alfalfa and white clover were removed easily from the sandy soils.
Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.