07/02/2012 08:04 EDT | Updated 09/01/2012 05:12 EDT

Metro Vancouver urged to develop invasive species strategy

A group leading the fight against invasive species is calling on Metro Vancouver politicians to develop a regional strategy.

The Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver, formerly the Invasive Plant Council, says municipalities currently deal with the spread of invasive plants and animals in a patchwork manner.

"Many of the jurisdictions are working alone on these sorts of issues and in isolation," said council spokesperson Jennifer Grenz.

"So they might be having some success within their jurisdiction, but right on the other side of the boundary, someone — say another jurisdiction — that's doing nothing could be spreading species into the jurisdiction that is actually doing something."

Grenz said Metro Vancouver's climate and geography make it a perfect host for invasive species like the snakehead fish, which was pulled from a Burnaby pond last month, or giant hogweed, which has turned up in several B.C. municipalities.

"That's why it's so critical that we have a strategy to make sure that we're all working on the same things together — and in the right ways."

Grenz will make her pitch Wednesday for Metro Vancouver to contribute $40,000 to the development of a regional strategy. The council intents to raise an additional $35,000 for the project from provincial and local governments, First Nations and other grants.