Having a Field Day: Yellow Flag Iris
For past couple of weeks, the OSS team has been working on our Yellow flag iris eradication project along Eneas Creek in Summerland's Garnet Valley neighborhood!
Yellow flag iris is an aggressive, destructive invasive plant that destroys habitat along creeks and wetlands and is nearly impossible to kill. It quickly displaces most other vegetation and can easily choke out a happy bubbling creek and turn it into a sluggish slough.
This intensive project was started last year and has many moving parts. We start the process to acquire our work permit several months in advance. This is because any and all works within a waterbody in BC require a permit. Our permit also outlines a "work window", a set span of days where fish and other aquatic life will be least affected by activity in the water, and we are required to work only in those days. These requirements apply to anyone doing work in or around a stream and they help protect the wildlife and habitat around these areas
During the set work window, we work with our Wildlife Habitat Stewards to cut down the Yellow flag iris along their sections of the creek and put non-toxic, non-breathable matting over top of it to deprive it of oxygen and suffocate its underground stems and roots. After a couple of seasons, we should be able to take up the matting and restore the areas of streambank back to healthy riparian forest! This technique was pioneered by Dr Tarasoff at Thompson Rivers University and has been shown to be quite successful.