Salt Cedar

Res #: 25-12M
Number: 25
Year: 2012
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No

WHEREAS salt cedar has been found in gravel pits in southwest Saskatchewan; and

WHEREAS when the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure calls for crushing tenders the same contractor goes to multiple sites; and

WHEREAS when equipment is moved from one pit to another the risk of seeds being carried is greatly increased;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure to require contractors to clean equipment before moving from a pit to prevent the spreading of salt cedar; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that these legislation/regulations be enforced.

Response from Honourable Don McMorris, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure:

Through Standard Specifications for Environmental Protection (section 1650) included in construction contracts, MHI requires that all works are undertaken in a manner that prevents the introduction or minimizes the spread of invasive alien species and noxious weeds.

MHI is aware of the salt cedar infestations and has been very proactive in treating and continuously monitoring the sites. MHI has been working, in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, the local weed inspectors and interest groups such as watershed stewards and the SK Invasive Species Council, to properly treat the infestations.

Salt cedar plants that were discovered were treated by removing and incinerating the top growth and then chemically treating the stumps. A wire barricade fence was erected to quarantine the area and limit access by animals, people, vehicles and heavy equipment. MHI is committed to monitoring the infestations for five years following the last occurrence of salt cedar in the property boundaries, at the direction of the Ministry of Agriculture. In one instance, equipment entered an area that had the potential to have a seed bank of salt cedar due to its proximity to the quarantined area. As a precaution, MHI ensured the equipment was thoroughly washed before being allowed to leave the site, under supervision by MHI staff and the weed inspector. The quarantined area was expanded, the 5-year monitoring requirement was re­-established and follow-up meetings took place to ensure understanding by all parties involved.