Hot Spots Program
Participants Tell All!
“I know that this work is of vital importance to the overall health of our environment and I very much appreciated the opportunity to learn about the problem and to briefly be a part of making a difference for the better.” — Sean, 2010 Cranbrook Hot Spot Crew Member
“My experience contributed to my getting a job with District of North Vancouver on their Trail crew for the summer, [and] helped me get a permanent position with the RDCO parks department.” — Alex, 2009 Kamloops Hot Spot Crew
"The forestry downturn was a blessing in disguise really. My company had lost funding on a few forest inventory contracts. This freed up my time to take the invasive plant management training course. It laid the foundation for other things to come. I was hired as crew lead for the Hot Spots Crew in 2009, and this year I started riparian treatment with my company." — Brad Kumpula
“Personally this program has been excellent because as a farm owner I have learned more about the various invasive species and their traits as well as alternate treatment methods. In the future I would be very excited to work with invasive plants if the opportunity arises, and I will definitely be a more conscientious forester and farmer towards invasive weeds. We hope funding sources will be available again next year as the whole province of BC will benefit from the program.
— Tanja Thibault, Nelson crew member
The Hot Spots program was a highly successful two-year program (2008-2011) that jump-started business development and employment in over 30 different communities across BC in 2010. Over its two-year period, field crews delivered invasive plant management activities in more than 274 communities and Indian Reserves. Over 203 unemployed resource workers were hired, and many were able to secure long-term employment with the new skills they developed.
The Hot Spots program provided under/unemployed resource workers with education, techniques, and experience in invasive plant management. Under the skilled guidance of Regional Committees, crews targeted high priority sites. Crews helped to manage (control, remove or in some cases, contain) invasive plants that are troublesome, and costly to address. The program inventoried 20,500 ha and treated 1,538 ha in multiple locations across the province.
The Hot Spots program was guided by a Hot Spots Advisory Committee that included representatives from various agencies and committees across BC. Collaborations between the ISC, governments and Regional Committees helped to minimize the impacts of invasive plants while providing job skills and new employment opportunities for displaced resources workers across BC.
The program has been highly successful. Some unemployed resource workers were able to secure long-term employment with the new skills they developed. Participating agencies expanded their local partnerships, attained additional funds for invasive plant management, expanded their traditional inventory and treatment areas, and received increased media exposure.
The ISC thanks Western Economic Diversification and the Provincial Community Development Trust, Job Opportunities Program and the BC Ministry of Environment Parks and Protected Areas Division for funding this program. Also thank you for contributions from the BC Ministry of Natural Resource Operations, and the Technical Advisory Committee, directors, regional coordinators, and the ISC project coordinators for their hard work and dedication.