Alien invasion in Knysna

Posted by on March 2, 2015

Since the inception of our Website numerous articles have been  posted to create awareness of alien invasion in and around our town. Ina Engelbrecht from WESSA/BotSoc will give an informative talk in May, illustrated by specimens of alien plants that she has collected in our municipal area.

The following article appeared yesterday in the KnysnaPlett Herald.  I’m re-posting it for your information.

Alien invasion in Knysna

Alien invasion in Knysna

Rozanne Steyn of NIS points at an example of the invasive alien plant infestation in Knysna.
KNYSNA NEWS – “Despite all-out efforts by concerned landowners and conservancies, the levels of infestation of invasive alien plants in Knysna remain unacceptably high, and on the increase,” says Cobus Meiring of the Southern Cape Landowners Initiative (SCLI).
Meiring says, “Recently promulgated legislation (Bio-Diversity Act as well as the Conservation and Agriculture Resource Act – CARA) is prompting landowners to ensure that their properties are free of declared invasive alien species, and several land owners in Knysna are already well on the way to complying.”
“However, there is much room for improvement,” he says.
“Knysna residents allowing their properties to be overrun by invasive alien plants create an immense bio-mass fuel load for run-away wild fires, the likes of which the town has not witnessed in recent history,” warns Meiring.
“Similarly, dense stands of invasive trees, such as blackwoods, eucalyptus and black wattles clutter the landscape and have completely smothered sensitive seep lines, ravines and valleys as well as dam walls and outlets.”

“The SCLI would like to appeal to landowners in Knysna to comply with legislation and to start clearing their land.”

Landowners who need assistance in clearing can approach National Infrastructure Services (NIS), implementing agent for the Working for Water Programme, for herbicide assistance as well as references to trained clearing operators.
“Knysna is no doubt one of South Africa’s primary conservation zones where critical biodiversity should be protected at all costs, and private landowners should recognise their responsibility towards this end,” Meiring concludes.
For further assistance, contact Luami Zondagh or Rozanne Steyn of NIS at luamizondagh@gmail.comor rozannesteyn@gmail.com, or telephone 044 889 0030.
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