You've probably heard about high-profile invasive species on the news. Emerald ash-borers are decimating urban forests, boa constrictors and pythons are literally eating the wildlife out of the Everglades and garlic mustard has taken over our parks. These and other species make the news because they are now such a problem that they cause millions of dollars of damage. But we rarely hear about how we can prevent these species from coming into the U.S. and becoming abundant enough to cause problems. How did these species get here and what is next?
Protecting our natural areas and wildlife from invasive species starts with good policy that supports inspections and quarantines, halts imports of wildlife and plants that carry disease, restricts importation of invasive plants and incentivizes business and industry to ensure imported goods are clean.
The Center for Invasive Species Prevention strives to advance policy and non-governmental approaches to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species. We work through engaging stakeholders, educating the public and decision-makers and advocating for effective measures to government officials. Currently we focus on cleaning up the pathways by which tree-killing insects and diseases reach North America and Hawai`i and then spread. These include
• Crates, pallets, and other forms of packaging made from wood• Imported plants, especially woody plants
• Hard-sided containers and ships, and hard-surfaced imports such as stone or metal
Much of our advocacy targets the US Department of Agriculture and Congressional committees with jurisdiction over it.
Part of our advocacy seeks to ensure adequate resources and funding for these and other invasive species programs.
The Center for Invasive Species Prevention is coordinates its work with other organizations through its membership in the National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species (NECIS) www.necis.net