Notice of permit

Regional or Local Number: SARA-PYR-2017-0379

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to the provisions of section 73 of the Species at Risk Act permit no. SARA-PYR-2017-0379 is issued.

Activity necessary or beneficial to the species

This permit authorizes to harm and kill individuals of the endangered Spalding’s Campion (Silene spaldingii) by undertaking chemical herbicide control of an alien invasive weed, at the Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve No. 1 in south-eastern British Columbia. The objective of the project is to benefit the species by restoring habitat and recovering populations by removing a competitive alien invasive species, recognized as a top threat to this species. Tordon 22K can be used 5m away from the affected Spalding’s Campion sub-population. A Glyphosate based herbicide can be used within the Spalding’s Campion patches only by direct contact with the leafy spurge plants and when individuals of the species at risk are covered with a plastic barrier immediately removed after application.

Start Date: 2017-06-07   End Date: 2019-10-31

Issuing Authority: Environment Canada

Authority Used:

  • Species at Risk Act

Location of Activity (province, territory or ocean):

  • British Columbia

Affected Species:

a) All reasonable alternatives to the activities that would reduce the impact on the species have been considered and the best solutions have been adopted. Management of leafy spurge is very difficult. Seven biological control agents have been released in BC, with Aphthona nigriscutis (flea beetle) having the most success (Weeds BC, 2002). Due to the colder climate in the East Kootenay region, many biocontrols have difficulty surviving winter conditions. Sheep grazing has been successfully used to manage leafy spurge on ranches in Montana; however, once the sheep were removed, leafy spurge would quickly return (Weeds BC, 2002). Due to the vegetative vigour and depth of the roots of leafy spurge, hand-pulling, digging or mowing are ineffective mechanical treatments (Weeds BC, 2002). Removing leafy spurge seed heads each year reduces the spread of seeds, but does not inhibit vegetative spread. Burning is also an ineffective treatment due to the extensive root system and potential detrimental impact to Spalding’s campion. Annual, repeated chemical applications have successfully managed small infestations (Weeds BC, 2002). The application of chemical herbicide to leafy spurge plants is the best known management practice in order to reduce and eventually eliminate leafy spurge populations (Weeds BC, 2002). Different herbicides have been investigated, and the appropriate herbicide will be applied according to the time of year, leafy spurge growth stage, and risk to Spalding’s campion plants. Trillion (mix of dicamba and 2,4-D) has been ineffective at this site in the past. Tordon22k (picloram) has the most effective control and residual activity to reduce the need for repeated application. Due to sensitivity surrounding the species at risk, only Glyphosate will be applied with a wick to avoid residual effects on Spalding’s campion seed or seedlings that may germinate. That way, glyphosate is not persistent but is translocated and would thus kill leafy spurge down to the roots. Wicking with another persistent herbicide would be counterproductive for Spalding’s Campion seedlings, and wicking with a contact herbicide would only kill top growth of leafy spurge and would not kill the roots. b) All feasible measures will be taken to minimize the impact of activities on the species. The Recovery Strategy recognizes herbicide drift poses a threat to Spalding’s campion. For this proposed operation several precautions will be utilized, including but not limited to: spraying in ideal conditions, worker training, equipment selection for good control of spray drift, and appropriate timing to apply herbicide. Monitoring is a key element of this project to not only assess the success of herbicide treatment to control leafy spurge but also assess the viability of Spalding’s campion and its response to threats and management activities, which is identified as an element of research and monitoring under the Recovery Strategy. To minimize the risk of herbicide application on Spalding’s campion, Spalding’s campion plants will be permanently marked using pigtail markers prior to herbicide application to facilitate close monitoring and annual assessment. The plants will be covered with temporary, impermeable plastic barriers, to protect them from the herbicide. Spalding’s campion individuals will also be monitored in order to determine any effects of herbicide application on nearby Spalding’s campion plants. To further minimize the risk of herbicide application on Spalding’s campion and its habitat, certified, well trained individuals will be applying foliar herbicide treatments using a low pressure backpack sprayer equipped with a flat spray tip or adjustable cone nozzle in order to direct the chemical onto leafy spurge plants only. Spot spraying will be used when applying glyphosate to not only minimize impact to Spalding’s campion but other native plants as well. Herbicide will not be applied in windy or rainy conditions in order to minimize spray drift; herbicide will not be applied when rain is forecast within 6 hours of application; and equipment will be cleaned before moving to a new site to prevent the potential spread of leafy spurge. All foliar treatments will be made after full leaf expansion, and herbicide will be applied to the leaves and stems of leafy spurge plants. Supervision will be provided by a Professional Agrologist experienced in identification of both leafy spurge and Spalding’s campion. The leafy spurge infestation will be mapped using a Precision GPS unit after herbicide applications to monitor the size of the infestation, which should be reduced after each application. c) The activities will not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. This activity will not jeopardize the survival of Spalding’s campion as presently, the leafy spurge infestation occurs in only one sub-population of Spalding’s campion on Tobacco Plains Indian Reserve. It is essential to control the leafy spurge infestation as soon as possible to prevent nearby sub-populations from becoming infested. Treating this sub-population with herbicide has the potential to injure Spalding’s campion individuals. However, as only one sub-population needs to be treated, any injury would be limited and would not spread to nearby sub-populations. This sub-population of Spalding’s campion is threatened without some form of herbicide application to control the leafy spurge infestation present, and the infestation has the potential to spread relatively quickly to nearby sub-populations.

Contact Person(s)
Permit Section
Canadian Wildlife Service
Delta, British Columbia
Phone: (604) 940-4650
Fax: (604) 946-7022