FAQs: Phragmites and the Invasive Species Act

Can landowners who leave established invasive Phragmites be forced to manage them or be subject to fines?

No. Invasive Phragmites is a "Restricted" species under the Act. In Ontario, it is illegal to import, deposit, release, breed/grow, buy, sell, lease or trade "Restricted" species of which invasive Phragmites is one. Possession is not an offence, so long as the conditions in the regulations are complied with. It is further human-engineered spread that is to be managed.We talked to Jeremy Downe, Species Program and Policy Advisor, Natural Heritage Section, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. He said educational encouragement is the best way to get landowners with previously established Phragmites to participate in management options. To contact Mr. Downe with further questions regarding the Act, please email Jeremy.Downe@ontario.ca

  • Note: The Regulation lists Prohibited invertebrates, Prohibited plants, Prohibited fish, and Restricted plants. “Prohibited” invasive species are those not yet present in Ontario, while “Restricted” invasive species are species already established here that we want to prevent from spreading.

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If I am using the selective cut process for management and disposal, and need to store or transport cut stalks, am I committing an office under the Act?

No. Response from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resoursces and Forestry:

"Ontario included an exemption in the regulations to clause 8 (1)(b) of the Invasive Species Act, 2015 to allow a person to deposit and release a restricted invasive species, provided they are conducting activities to control or manage the species or carry out activities such as commerce, agriculture or maintenance. These exceptions only apply outside of provincial parks and conservation reserves. "

As long as your control and management activities are not conducted within a provincial park or conservation reserve, the regulations under the act will not impact your activities. [Permission would need to be granted by the appropriate authority].

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