Scotch Broom Gets the Sweep with Volunteer Support
Residents of Procter Point and the Uplands strata got together during the May long weekend to tackle the invasive species.
Left unaddressed, fast-growing Scotch Broom chokes out the native flora, competes with more valuable saplings and poses a fire hazard. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of seeds are dispersed each year, making it all the more difficult to control.
Residents of PROCTER POINT and the Uplands strata have been keeping an eye on the Scotch Broom for quite some time, cutting it back sporadically on individual lots, but this time was different.
Canadian-American newcomer Brandon Cardinal took the overgrowth of broom as a signal that the Point needed to get on top of it or sacrifice parts of our ecology.
Cardinal sought the advice of Vancouver Island's foremost Scotch Broom eradication organization Broombusters.org to make sure we would be taking care of the issue in a comprehensive way.
"Ideally, taking the plant down when it's flowering is best," Cardinal said. "So we are a bit early, but Joanne Sales assured me that as long as we followed the half-dozen or so techniques for cutting it back, we'll be in a good position to gain the upper hand and control the spread."
Cardinal also connected with Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society to provide our resident volunteers with 10 pairs of loppers. Some of the broom was more than three inches in diameter, which necessitated the use of battery-powered reciprocating saws, and even a chainsaw was required.
Cardinal, who is joined by his son Canyon, 12, purchased at PROCTER POINT in 2018 and orchestrated the move from Bellingham, WA just ahead of the pandemic.
Nelson and the Kootenay Lake area had long been on his radar, as he logged a trip to the area some 25 years earlier and vowed to come back and make it his home.
Kootenay charm and the wilderness on the main lake made a lasting impression on him, but he would be the first to admit to seeing considerable change, too.
"The Scotch Broom is one for sure, but I'm increasingly concerned about cut blocks that mar the valley mountainsides, threaten our watershed and biodiversity and weaken our position as a carbon sink," he added.
Cardinal isn't retreating from his view of life on a great Canadian lake with a canopy of temperate rainforest standing watch as anything less than amazing.
"Far from it," he said. "I want to make sure that Canyon's children and grand children get to experience the wonder of this remarkable ecosystem too."
PROCTER POINT is an inclusive community with the utmost regard for the environment, including the preservation of existing vegetation and trees, clean water, and a harmonious balance of peaceful coexistence and privacy in one of the world's remaining inland temperate rainforests.