FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NACD URGES SENATE TO SUPPORT INVASIVE SPECIES CONTROL BILL
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2016 — The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) submitted a letter to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell, the Chairman and Ranking Members of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (respectively), urging them to bring up and pass favorably out of committee, S. 2240, the Federal Lands Invasive Species Control, Prevention and Management Act.
Current federal invasive species management lacks effective interagency communication and often results in contradictory recommendations and practices which impede the ability of conservation districts to implement effective invasive species control on the local level. The proposed bill would facilitate greater collaboration and cooperation between and across agencies and entities and help alleviate undue barriers to the work of fighting invasive species locally, state-wide, regionally and at the national level.
Proper management is critical to the success and overall health of both private and public land. Invasive species push out native species, add undue stress to the ecosystems, and harm local communities’ economic and human health. In 2005, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that invasive species cost the U.S. more than $120 billion a year. Combined with the Bureau of Land Management’s report that invasive plants have been spreading across public lands at a rate of 4,600 acres a day, only adds to need or a change in the federal government’s invasive species management practices.
NACD applauds and supports the following steps taken by S. 2240:
- The requirement that seventy-five percent of currently allocated funds for addressing or including invasive species management be used for “on-the-ground control and management of invasive species.”
- Inclusion of Categorical Exclusions for use in high-risk invasive encroachment scenarios.
- US Department of Agriculture and Department of Interior collaboration with state/local/tribal experts to develop new invasive species management plans.
- Understanding of the importance of cooperative agreements and MOUs as effective ways to ensure widespread use of the new management plans.
- Target goal of a five percent annual reduction in invasive species.
“Combatting invasive species is a critical part of conservation districts’ work and all attempts should be made to streamline and clarify the federal management practices so that they can do the critical work of conserving our nation’s resources,” said NACD President Lee McDaniel.
“We ask that lawmakers consider supporting this bill that would provide much-needed revision to federal invasive species management practices and help conservation districts assist local landowners and operators stop the further spread these destructive, non-native plant and animal species.”
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit: www.nacdnet.org.