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Invasive Species Update


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Title: Invasive Species Update

Invasive Species Update
National Environmental Policy Meeting Sacramento,
CA June 14-15, 2005 Doug Holy
Invasive Species
  • Overview of NRCS policy and the basis for it
  • A few specific invasive species activities of
  • Meeting the invasive species challenge (panel
    presentations and discussion)

NRCS Invasive Species Policy
  • Published November 2004 as General Manual Title
    190, Technology, Part 414, Invasive Species,
    Subparts A through D http//

  • This policy provides direction and guidance for
    agency actions related to preventing the
    introduction of invasive species, managing
    existing invasive species and minimizing
    economic, ecological, and human health impacts
    that invasive species may cause.

  • USDA Policy for Noxious Weed Management of
    January 1990
  • E.O. 13122 of February 1999
  • Defines harm from invasive species
  • Important definitions and clarifications

USDA Policy for Noxious Weed Management
  • Defines noxious weed and declares that USDA
    agencies will not encourage the propagation of

E.O. 13112 Charge
  • All Federal agencies whose actions may affect
    invasive species are to identify the actions,
    and, subject to appropriations, use relevant
    programs and authorities to do the following

Federal Agency Duties (E.O. 13112)
  • Prevent the introduction of invasive species
  • Detect and respond rapidly to and control
    populations of such species in a cost-effective
    and environmentally sound manner
  • Monitor invasive species populations accurately
    and reliably

Federal Agency Duties (E.O. 13112)
  • Provide for restoration of native species and
    habitat conditions in ecosystems that have been
  • Conduct research on invasive species and develop
    technologies to prevent introduction and provide
    for environmentally sound control of invasive
  • Promote public education on invasive species and
    the means to address them

Agency Duties (E.O. 13112)
  • Not authorize, fund, or carry out actions that it
    believes are likely to cause or promote the
    introduction or spread of invasive species in the
    United States or elsewhere unless, pursuant to
    guidelines that it has prescribed, the agency has
    determined and made public its determination that
    the benefits of such actions clearly outweigh the
    potential harm caused by invasive species and
    that all feasible and prudent measures to
    minimize risk of harm will be taken in
    conjunction with the actions. (i.e., Do No

Agency Duties (E.O. 13112)
  • Federal agencies shall pursue these duties in
    consultation with the National Invasive Species
    Council, consistent with the National Invasive
    Species Management Plan and in cooperation with
    stakeholders, as appropriate.

National Invasive Species Council(E.O. 13112)
  • Includes 13 Departments/agencies with co-chairs
    being Departments of Agriculture, Interior, and
  • Ensure that Federal agency activities concerning
    invasive species are coordinated, complementary,
    cost-efficient, and effective
  • Rely to the extent feasible on existing
    organizations (e.g., Aquatic Nuisance Species
    Task Force, the Federal Interagency Committee for
    the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds, and
    the Committee on Environment and Natural

National Invasive Species Council(E.O. 13112)
  • Ensure that activities concerning invasive
    species are coordinated, complementary,
    cost-efficient, and effective.

National Invasive Species Management Plan
  • Invasive Species Action Plan for the nation
  • First edition in 2001
  • Contains performance-oriented goals
  • Focuses upon non-native organisms that may cause
    significant negative impacts and not provide
    equivalent benefits
  • To be revised biennially undergoing second
    revision now

NRCS Policy Defines Harm from Invasive Species
  • They reduce the economic productivity and
    ecological integrity of our nations lands and
  • The rate of introduction of such species has
    risen markedly in recent years with costs to
    society growing.
  • Invasive species harm noninvasive native species
    and their habitats, renewable resources, and
    diminish productive capacity of agricultural
  • They may negatively impact a wide variety of
    human activities and needs.

Important Definitions
  • Invasive species Those species whose
    introduction does, or is likely to, cause
    economic or environmental harm or harm to human
  • Defines Introduced and clarifies that this term
    is not equal to invasive

Important Definitions
  • Noxious weeds Those plant species designated as
    such by the Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary
    of the Interior, or by State law or regulation.
    Generally, noxious weeds are aggressive and
    difficult to manage, may be parasitic, a carrier
    or host of deleterious insects or disease, and
    are non-native, new to, or not common to the
    United States or parts thereof.

NRCS Roles Regarding Invasive Species
  • Adhering to goals and purposes of the NISMP.
  • Following and supporting all Tribal, State, and
    local laws regarding invasive species in the
    course of giving technical and financial
    assistance and implementing conservation
  • Considering environmental, social, cultural and
    economic conditions when recommending management
    options for invasive species.

NRCS Roles Regarding Invasive Species
  • Encouraging the use of native species for a given
    location and conservation practice in correlation
    with restoration or containment goals, as for
    example, ecological site descriptions or other
    agency-established land-use type classifications.
  • Evaluating, developing, and/or recommending
    noninvasive, non-native species in order to meet
    both the agronomic and conservation objectives of
    our clientele when native species will not
    support the conservation needs.
  • Using NRCS programs, when appropriate, to help
    private landowners recognize, inventory, and
    control invasive species

NRCS Roles Regarding Invasive Species
  • Working with NRCS experts and partners in order
    to better understand invasiveness thresholds and
    potential social, economic and/or environmental
  • Preparing and maintaining management plans,
    technical notes and guides reflecting management
    of invasive species, and adding timely and
    pertinent information to the Plant Materials
    Program national Web site (http//Plant-Materials., the PLANTS database
    (http//, and other appropriate

NRCS Roles Regarding Invasive Species
  • Recognizing that many introduced species are not
    invasive, and that some of these are among the
    best plants for conservation, forage production,
    and agronomic purposes.
  • Recognizing that NRCS staffs are likely to be
    among the first professionals to see or hear of
    existing or potential species invasions due to
    the NRCS interface with private landowners.
    While making certain to protect client
    confidentiality, this connection must be used
    wisely in working with landowners to manage their
    invasive species concerns to prevent these
    invasive species from spreading.

NRCS Roles Regarding Invasive Species
(Partnerships Encouraged)
  • To share information and address invasive species
    issues impacting ecosystem health and quality of
  • To provide public education on invasive species
    identification and management.
  • To achieve local goals for controlling invasive
  • To create Tribal, State, and regional lists of
    invasive terrestrial and aquatic plant and animal
    species, and prioritize these species in such a
    way as to reflect the degree of threat to human,
    environmental, and economic health.

Supporting NRCS Invasive Species Activities
  • Active participation with other USDA agencies
    coordinating invasive species activities, and in
    preparing the USDA contribution to the annual
    NISC Invasive Species Cross-cut budget.
  • Active participation with the National
    Agricultural Library and others to redesign and
    contribute to the gateway to Federal efforts
    concerning invasive species at http//www.invasive

Supporting NRCS Invasive Species Activities
  • Inclusion of an invasive species module within
    the PLANTS database (http// )
    recognized as a primary information source for
    both aquatic and terrestrial plants.
  • Continued work of the Plant Materials Centers to
    actively select native, non-invasive plant
    species suited to solving conservation problems.
  • Active member of the Federal Interagency
    Committee for the Management of Noxious and
    Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW), a forum for coordinating
    Federal invasive species activities.

Supporting NRCS Invasive Species Activities
  • Active participant and steering team member for
    the annual National Invasive Weeds Awareness
    Week activities held in Washington, DC
  • Active participant and steering team member of
    the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign
  • Incorporation of invasive species and pollinator
    protection verbiage into the Purpose, Criteria,
    or Considerations portions of appropriate
    conservation practices

Supporting NRCS Invasive Species Activities
  • Formed the NRCS Invasive Species Advisory Group

Supporting NRCS Invasive Species Activities
  • NRCS employees continue to work closely with
    Conservation Districts, other local partners,
    State and Regional Weed Management organizations,
    or Exotic Pest Plant Councils in their local
    efforts to detect, suppress, eradicate, and/or
    manage invasive weeds using Farm Bill programs
    (e.g., CTA, CRP, WRP, WHIP, EQIP) that offer
    opportunities to address invasive species control
    and management through technical and financial