Ontario government sets out blueprint for future action to protect
PETERBOROUGH, ON, July 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - The Ontario Federation of Anglers
and Hunters (OFAH), the largest charitable, non-profit conservation
based organization in the province, strongly endorses the recent
release of the Ontario Invasive Species Strategic Plan.
"One of the greatest threats to our natural resources and biodiversity
continues to be aquatic and terrestrial invasive species," said Sophie
Monfette, OFAH Invading Species Awareness Program Coordinator. "We are
delighted to see the release of the provincial strategy, and look
forward to working in support of the action items contained in the
report, including the need for greater public awareness, education and
outreach. The strategy also emphasizes the need to prevent the
introduction of new invasive species, which is a critical component to
any successful plan to combat the spread of invasives."
Across Canada, invasive species are responsible for billions of dollars
of damage annually, and have the potential to cause irreparable harm to
vital fish and wildlife habitat. The OFAH was one of the first
organizations to recognize the threat posed by invasive species, which
resulted in the creation of the Invading Species Awareness Program in
the early 1990's. For nearly twenty years, the OFAH has partnered with
the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, which has provided matching
funding for the program under a series of agreements since 2003.
"The OFAH is grateful to the Ontario government and in particular to the
Ministry of Natural Resources for their ongoing support of our program,
which has successfully engaged tens of thousands of Ontario residents
in invasive species awareness and prevention," said Monfette.
While much of the attention around invasive species is focused on
aquatic invaders like zebra mussels, goby and more recently, the high
profile Asian carp, it is equally important to recognize the large
number of invasive plant species that have been introduced into the
landscape. The threat posed by giant hogweed or garlic mustard is
equally problematic, which can out compete domestic plants and in the
case of hogweed, can be hazardous to human health.
"The Ontario Invasive Plant Council strongly supports the strategy's
inclusiveness, and the commitment to interdepartmental cooperation and
collaboration with non-government partners like the OIPC and the OFAH.
The challenge now will be to provide the necessary investment to
implement the plan. Details of how the OIPC is working with other
organizations to bring the plan to fruition can be seen on our website
at www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca," said Owen Williams, Chair of the OIPC.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 675 member
clubs, the OFAH is the province's largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife
conservation organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. Visit www.ofah.org and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters