Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council
You are here:Priority Species»Agricultural/Rangeland Invasive Plants»Agricultural/Rangeland Invasive Plants

Agricultural/Rangeland Invasive Plants

Healthy Rangeland produces plant biomass including forage for livestock and wildlife, maintains healthy soil and protects from soil erosion, captures and beneficially releases water, cycles nutrients and energy, maintains biological diversity, and stores carbon. For livestock producers, healthy pastures and rangelands mean economically and environmentally sustainable grazing opportunities along with watershed and soil protection. Benefits to wildlife will also be provided if rangelands are managed in a healthy manner (2005, Pasture and Range Factsheet, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries). However, through overgrazing, the introduction of exotic livestock and non-native annual grasses, and fire suppression, a rapid shift from native perennial bunchgrasses to winter annual grasses and broadleaf species which tend to be avoided by livestock has occurred. Some of these introduced species are toxic to livestock and wildlife (such as tansy ragwort) or are simply unpalatable (such as knapweed and thistle species), allowing these species to proliferate faster than the native grass species. This has several implications - reduced forage quality and quantity for livestock has an economic impact, and the introduction of non-native species to rangeland reduces rangeland health and has an environmental impact. There are very few areas of "natural" rangeland (native grassland or prairie) remaining in BC, largely due to invasion of non-native plants.