National Management Plan: Appendix 2 - Summary of Federal Roles and Responsibilities

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[Executive Summary] | [Introduction] | [Survey of Federal Roles & Responsibilities] | [An Action Plan for the Nation] | [Conclusion] | [Appendices]

Appendix 2 provides additional information about Federal programs dealing with invasive species, and is intended to supplement the chapter on Federal Roles and Responsibilities of the Plan. Although it is more detailed, it does not represent a complete list of all programs pertaining to invasive species. It is organized according to the overall goals of the effort, including: prevention, control and management, international measures, and education and outreach.


Department of Agriculture

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) within the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the primary agency charged with preventing invasive species from entering the country. APHIS authority arises from laws such as the Plant Protection Act and a number of statues collectively referred to as the animal quarantine laws. Using current authorities, APHIS can prohibit, inspect, treat, quarantine, or require mitigation measures prior to allowing entry of plant species, plant pests, biological control organisms, animals, animal products and by-products, or their host commodities or conveyances. These laws also authorize APHIS to prevent the introduction and dissemination of diseases and pests of livestock and poultry. APHIS has a number of domestic quarantines in place to prevent invasive species from moving within the country. In addition, APHIS "preclears" some shipments of plants or plant products and animal or animal products through inspection and quarantine in the country of origin to ensure that they are free of certain invasive species prior to arrival at a U.S. port of entry. APHIS is involved with overseas control and eradication of some invasive pest species, such as screwworm and medfly. APHIS also regulates the importation/exportation of veterinary biological products intended to treat animal disease and prohibits the importation or shipment of any products that are contaminated, dangerous, or harmful. APHIS prevention efforts are collaborative and draw on the knowledge, technology, and operational support of a broad array of Federal, State, and non-Federal partners.

One of USDA's research arms, Agriculture Research Service (ARS), provides support to its regulatory and action agency partners providing taxonomic and identification expertise, monitoring methods for targeted pests, and developing eradication technology for invasive species.

The Forest Service (FS) has authority over forest pests and management of invasive species in its 192 million acre national forest and grasslands system. The FS has broad authority to prevent the spread of invasive species onto National Forest System (NFS) lands, and is authorized to assist other Federal, State, and private entities in preventing the spread of invasive species onto non-Federal lands under its cooperative authorities. In addition, the FS provides research and development support to USDA's action programs to prevent invasive species problems. For example, FS works closely with APHIS to develop risk assessments to prevent the introduction of pests into the U.S., and conducts research relating to the prevention of introductions of invasive species.

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has authority to aid in prevention through education and outreach funded by cost-share programs and conservation technical assistance.

Department of Defense

The Defense Transportation Regulation provides direction for the routine maintenance and washing of vehicles after field operations to remove mud/particulate matter which, in addition to extending the life of the vehicle, also prevents introduction of invasive or exotic species. The regulation requires conformance to U.S. Customs/APHIS requirements for international transport. Defense's Medical Service Quarantine Regulations are intended to prevent the introduction and dissemination, domestically or elsewhere, of diseases of humans, plants, or animals, prohibited or illegally taken wildlife, arthropod vectors, and pests of health and agricultural importance.

The U.S. Navy conducts numerous control and management efforts, including: ballast water and anchor system management practices; participation in the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force's (ANSTF) Ballast Water and Shipping Committee meetings; working with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to jointly establish Uniform National Discharge Standards (UNDS) for management of liquid discharges (including clean ballast water) from vessels of Armed Forces; and pest management of ships, aircraft, and shore facilities.

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Early Detection and Rapid Response

Department of Agriculture

APHIS has emergency authority to deal with incipient invasions and works in cooperation with other Federal agencies, State departments of agriculture and other State agencies, academia, regional and local agencies, and non-governmental stakeholders. APHIS has several programs which address early detection and rapid response issues. For example, APHIS sponsors the Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program (CAPS). Through the CAPS program, cooperation and collaboration with State regulators and university cooperators results in surveys for a number of identified high-priority pests. Through the State CAPS coordinator's office, data is routinely entered and summarized, and survey findings are disseminated to interested parties. The National Agriculture Pest Information System (NAPIS) is a nationally coordinated web-based information and data system that includes the survey results and ancillary survey and pest information for many species that are non-endemic, and considered to be potential invasive species. Summaries of survey and interception results are provided at county-level resolution and, in many cases, can be presented as maps. Many surveys are conducted in areas surrounding ports of entry as well as follow-up surveys at locations, such as warehouses, that received shipments of items coming through the ports.

When entry of a new plant pest is detected, a New Pest Advisory Group (NPAG) is convened. An NPAG consists of knowledgeable experts (both federal and non-federal) who are charged with recommending the appropriate response to be taken. The agency then follows up on the recommendations of the NPAG. In the case of an invasive animal or poultry disease, Veterinary Services, a unit within APHIS, moves rapidly to contain and then eradicate the disease. Veterinary Services performs regular surveillance for foreign animal diseases and pests of livestock and poultry. Private veterinary practitioners that have been through a foreign animal disease training process and are accredited by USDA report through an established process all suspect foreign animal disease cases encountered when these veterinarians visit sick animals. Other private veterinary practitioners are required to report all suspect animal disease cases to State authorities. State authorities then assign a USDA accredited veterinarian to investigate and report on the suspect case. Once a disease or pest has been confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories as a foreign animal disease or pest, an emergency response is implemented through the Regional Emergency Animal Disease Eradication Organization.

FS works to identify and control new or incipient invasions of invasive species through its research and cooperative authorities. FS research and development provides critical information and technology for early detection and rapid response. FS has rapid response teams which respond, primarily in cooperation with APHIS, to major insect and disease outbreaks and conduct studies in support of these efforts. In addition, FS has databases under development with direct benefits to early detection and rapid response (Exotic Forest Pest Information System and the Weed Invaders Database). FS's ability to respond to invasive species is hampered by the absence of a flexible funding mechanism that would allow research and operations relating to newly introduced invasive species to be accelerated within the year of introduction. Currently, funding for new control, research, and development activities, which are essential for early eradication and containment, are not appropriated for one to two fiscal years after the introduction occurs.

ARS provides research in support of early detection and rapid response activities of its regulatory and action agency partners by confirming identifications of invasive species, developing eradication technology, and taking part in rapid response teams.

NRCS provides information on invasive and noxious plants through the PLANTS Web site, ( NRCS field office staff also work with the Cooperative extension to disburse information on invasive species and their control. The NRCS National Plant Data Center has developed an alpha version of an automated plant identification tool that permits users to identify plant species. Wetland plant and grass data have been developed cooperatively for this tool by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), NRCS, EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CE), North Carolina Botanical Garden-Biota of North America Program, and the University of Northeastern Louisiana. An interagency effort to develop invasive plant data for this tool would assist field staff immensely. Also, NRCS, FS, and APHIS are cooperating to develop a module on the PLANTS Web site that will enable professionals and the public to review known distributional data and submit new county records, including their supporting data. These records will be funneled back through the Early Detection and Rapid Response network to the field level, where they can be closely watched in the event something elevates to a higher concern.

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Control, Management and Restoration

Department of Agriculture

FS manages 192 million acres and, in its report Stemming the Invasive Tide, the Forest Service Strategy for noxious and non-native invasive plant management, lays out priorities of prevention, eradication, and control. FS has authority to control Federal and State listed noxious weeds as well as invasive plants, insects, and pathogens deemed to cause environmental or economic damage through local forest and grassland management plans. FS also manages forest pests on National Forest System lands and provides funding, research and development, and technical assistance and advice for insect and disease control on private lands, as well as cost share and grant programs. FS has direct authority to control invasive plants in the Pacific Islands. The Wyden Amendment (temporary authority) allows Federal funds to be used on lands adjoining Federal lands. Many FS timber sale contracts and service contracts have provisions that permit FS to lessen risk of spread of "unwelcome" noxious weeds. FS research and development provides research in support of control, management, and restoration activities for forest ecosystems and rangelands.

APHIS authority for control and management of invasive species, both plant and animal, are authorized and limited by the same authorities used to prevent the introduction or dissemination of plant pests and animal diseases. Examples of APHIS involvement in this area include participation with FS in the Slow-The-Spread program to control gypsy moth. Another example is the cooperative Boll Weevil Eradication Program, initiated in 1983. The program is designed to eliminate the cotton boll weevil, an invasive pest that has plagued the U.S. cotton industry for over 100 years. Moving in a series of sequential expansions across the southern cotton-producing states, the program is scheduled for completion in 2005. The cooperative program involves USDA, States, and cotton growers - usually organized into statewide or regional foundations. APHIS provided the initial program management and direction, but as the program matured and demonstrated its ability to succeed, cotton growers assumed greater responsibility for daily program operations. APHIS continues to provide technical support and limited cost-share funding (5% in FY 2000) along with the Farm Service Agency-sponsored low interest loans. Regulatory authority for the program rests with the participating States.

Wildlife Services (WS), a unit of APHIS, assists in solving problems involving damage or hazards caused by invasive species. When requested, WS provides help through technical assistance, direct control, and research of invasive vertebrate pest species to Federal, State, local, tribal, and other partners. WS has conducted operational activities on a minimum of 44 species of invasive animals, including 17 species of invasive mammals, 25 species of invasive birds, and 2 species of invasive reptiles. Since its introduction in the late 1940s, the invasive brown tree snake has been detrimental to the native fauna of Guam. The snake has eliminated 8 species of birds, 2 species of bats, and several reptiles. The invasive snake is also detrimental to the electric utility industry, as well as a threat to human health and safety. WS conducts operations in Guam and Hawaii aimed at keeping the invasive brown tree snake from reaching other destinations. WS' National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC), has developed and registered a toxicant in of control brown tree snake. NWRC is also developing snake lures and irritants, along with delivery systems for these products, to improve brown tree snake control programs.

ARS provides holistic, ecosystem-level research in support of control, management, and restoration activities in cooperation with its land management agency partners. ARS develops integrated pest management programs, area-wide pest management programs, weed management areas, and biological, chemical, and cultural control strategies, emphasizing biologically based approaches where possible, and incorporating restoration, revegetation, and rehabilitation of ecosystems where appropriate. Restoration is particularly important to integrate with biological control of weeds programs. ARS now requires this integration for their biological control of weeds programs.

NRCS works primarily with private landowners and is simultaneously linked to local, State, and other Federal agencies as well as non-governmental organizations, through State technical committees and county level local working groups in each of the 3000 Soil and Water Conservation Districts. This relationship includes sharing technical advice or recommendations regarding invasive species control, and management of healthy ecosystems in order to preclude the displacement of native and non-invasive species by invasive species. In addition, NRCS plays a large role in land restoration following catastrophic events through the Emergency Watershed Program. Following flooding, fires, and other types of natural destruction, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help restore land to its native and/or desirable non-invasive species pre-disturbance composition. NRCS is the major natural resource conservation information provider to private landowners, including invasive species information. Integrated state noxious weed lists, invasive plant lists, links to key sources of weed species biology and management information throughout the U.S. and the world, and Plant Guides used for restoring native plant communities are provided through the NRCS PLANTS Web site. PLANTS will exhibit APHIS information on key foreign species that are high threats targeted for exclusion.

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension (CSREES), through its partnership with the Land Grant University System, supports research, extension and education efforts aimed at control, management, and restoration in all 50 states (3,150 counties), the District of Columbia, and the 6 territories. These efforts include participation by scientists and educators at other non-land grant universities and from private sector organizations. In addition, CSREES supports surveys, eradication, and management efforts with both formula-based and competitive funding. These funds have supported a broad spectrum of technologies, philosophies, and methodologies.

Department of Commerce

Under the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (together with FWS) has responsibility for control and management of invasive aquatic species. NOAA's Sea Grant program has been actively involved in research on methods to reduce the impact of zebra mussels and a number of other species. Although set up for other purposes, NOAA also has programs to deal with pathogens and parasites of shellfish and threats to essential fish habitat that have involved control of invasive species.

The NOAA Restoration Center within the National Marine Fisheries Service is engaged in restoration activities to restore coastal and estuarine habitats, to advance the science underlying habitat restoration, and to transfer restoration technology to the private and public sectors. Projects involve on-the-ground habitat restoration. Invasive species removal and native habitat restoration is often a component of these projects. The program has removed invasive species from bays and estuaries in Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and the State of Washington. An effort is made to develop techniques to make restoration areas more resistant to invasive species, (e.g., improving salt-water circulation, correcting tidal heights, and increasing native plant density).

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (Defense) manages over 25 million acres of lands within military installations. Defense controls and manages invasive species in accordance with the individual plans governing each installation or base. The goals of Defense's Invasive Species Management Program are prevention, control of invasive species present on Defense installations, and restoration using native plants. Defense Instruction 4715.3 Environmental Conservation Program addresses ecosystem management, biodiversity conservation, and maintaining and restoring native ecosystems to support the military mission of the installation. Defense Instruction 4150.7 Pest Management Program establishes and assigns responsibilities for a safe, effective, and environmentally sound integrated pest management program for the prevention and control of pests and disease vectors that may adversely impact readiness or military operations by affecting health of personnel or damaging structures, materiel or property. These two instructions require compliance with applicable U.S. statutes, regulations, Executive Orders, binding international agreements, other legal requirements, and U.S. environmental, safety, occupational health, explosives safety, fire and emergency services, and pest management policies.

Defense maintains Master Memoranda of Agreement with the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Interior (Interior). The agreements cover research requirements of mutual concern between Defense and the two Departments. USDA and Interior are to coordinate requirements and consider Defense as one of their constituent customers when developing their respective research requirements. Invasive species have been included in these requirements.

The U.S. Army Environmental Center and the Army Corps of Engineers Laboratories (working with the Installation operators) have developed an Integrated Training Area Management (ITAM) Program for restoration. They engage contractors to restore training areas and protect them from erosion, loss of endangered species habitat, and degradation of land resources for training, which in turn may help such areas resist establishment by invasive species. Through this program and the National Defense Industrial Association, Defense can assist in restoration efforts.

CE has a number of control programs, including the Aquatic Plant Control Program, Zebra Mussel Program, and the Removal of Aquatic Growth Program. It is also authorized to implement a 50/50 Federal/local cost arrangement with State and local governments for managing nuisance aquatic plants in waterways not under the control of the CE or other Federal agencies.

Department of the Interior

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) focuses primarily on controlling invasive plants, which has been identified as a top priority for the agency (Congressional Research Service 1999) and has implemented an action plan, called Partners Against Weeds, to prevent and control the spread of noxious weeds on public lands. APHIS regulates animal pests on BLM land under a memorandum of understanding between the two agencies.

The National Park Service (NPS) manages more than 83 million acres, and approximately 200 parks have identified exotic species as an important resource management threat. NPS' management policies prohibit the introduction of exotic invasive species to a few situations and requires the use of an Integrated Pest Management approach to remove or control exotic species on NPS units. As part of its regulation of fishing in park units, NPS prohibits the use of most bait fish (live or dead), except in specially designated waters in order to reduce the likelihood of the introduction or spread of invasive species.

FWS has multiple programs to address management and control of invasive species. FWS works with ANSTF and leads efforts to develop and implement cooperative plans to manage and control infestations of aquatic nuisance species across the country. The National Wildlife Refuge System has invasive species teams that are currently reviewing strategies and recommending potential pilot projects involving invasive species. In addition, invasive species issues are being included within comprehensive conservation plans that are being written for refuge units. FWS also has several habitat restoration programs that restore habitat degraded by invasive species as part of their overall habitat restoration activities.

The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) is responsible for programs that control invasive species which infest water systems, including reservoirs, rivers, distribution canals, etc. Species such as zebra mussels, Chinese mitten crabs, hydrilla, and water hyacinth obstruct water flow, reduce recreational access, and can cause structural damage. BOR manages invasive species through its Integrated Pest Management Program under its basic operation and management authority and various reclamation-enabling statutes and directives.

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) recognizes the increasing importance of invasive species. As a result, they have increased research of invasive species. They recently committed $100,000 to a "Survey of the Relationship of the Australian Spotted Jellyfish, Phyllorihiza puncta, and OCS platforms" in the Gulf of Mexico. Invasive species are being introduced into the Gulf of Mexico, and offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf are habitat for these species as well as potential vectors of distribution. Oil and gas exploration in the Gulf can at times involve exploratory drilling rigs originating from locations outside the Gulf, as well as foreign ships, whose hulls and ballast water often carry invasive species. The presence of oil and gas platforms has promoted the dispersion of species otherwise not found in the offshore region. In the coming years, MMS will become more involved in the invasive species issue.

Environmental Protection Agency

Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA has regulatory authority over certification of such compounds and may place limits on the conditions under which they may be used. In addition, EPA is the lead agency for administration of the National Environmental Policy Act, which may require production of an environmental assessment document for control activities.

Department of Transportation

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has an oversight role in federally funded highway projects that include both Interstate and State highways. FHWA's Vegetation Management Program guides State departments of transportation on invasive species issues. Guidance on E.O. 13112 was issued to the States in September 1999, encouraging inventory and integrated management of roadside weeds before-and-after projects. The guidance requires invasive species assessment during the NEPA process. The FHWA continues to provide technical support to all States on this vegetation issue.

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Research and Monitoring

Department of Agriculture

ARS and FS play a critical role in conducting research on the prevention, eradication, and control of agricultural invasive species and conducts critical research on monitoring ecosystems impacted by invasive species.

ARS is also responsible for evaluating new agricultural nonindigenous species before they can be commercially distributed. ARS has established new research partnerships for integrated management of invasive species through its area-wide pest management program, in which partnerships with Federal, State, and local groups are developed. ARS also provides leadership in developing biological control technologies for invasive species, including foreign exploration for natural enemies of the pests, risk assessment and host-specificity testing of high-priority candidate biological control agents, field release and evaluation, and restoration, revegetation, and rehabilitation of affected areas. ARS budgeted $70 million for this effort in FY 1999.

FS has a research branch focused on issues of environmental concern to forests, rangelands and wetlands. FS is the lead research agency for invasive insects, diseases, and pathogens which affect forests, and is actively engaged in research of invasive species on range and grasslands. FS has an active biological control research program with foreign exploration supporting domestic projects. FS also supports technology development for control, monitoring, and restoration.

NRCS's Plant Materials Centers (PMC) play a role in research through plant screening efforts investigating new species for their potential invasiveness and usefulness as an agronomic or conservation substitute in the event a suitable native species is not available. PMC can contribute technical assistance in the development of native seed banks. The PLANTS database can be used to monitor the spread of invasive species through a particular habitat, and through additional funding, the PMC have the potential to contribute technical assistance in the development of native seed banks.

CSREES works primarily through the Land Grant University System to support research and extension scientists who engage stakeholders and citizen volunteers regarding invasive species issues. Funding opportunities for these scientists include formula funds, special grants, and competitive grants.

Department of Commerce

NOAA has a major role in research regarding invasive aquatic species under the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act. NOAA's Sea Grant program manages a competitive research grant program for all aspects of aquatic nuisance species issues, including for the development of ballast water management technology. Under the program, research projects cover a wide range of issues from prevention to control to ecological monitoring. Funding for this program, which includes outreach, has averaged about $2.8 million per year.
In addition, NOAA's National Ocean Service has recognized the importance of monitoring for non-native species within marine sanctuaries and estuarine research reserves and is inaugurating a monitoring program in these areas.

Department of Defense

CE has a number of research programs focused on invasive species. The Aquatic Plant Control Research Program (APCRP) has provided effective, economical, and environmentally compatible technologies for identifying, assessing and managing aquatic plant problems for over 30 years. The Zebra Mussel Program is the only federally authorized research program for zebra mussel control.

Department of the Interior

The USGS assists resource managers to obtain reliable information on invasive species, develop methods and tools to better prevent and control invasions, and to reduce their impacts on ecosystems and native species.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Biological Monitoring and Research Program includes research in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including invasive plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, and wildlife disease organisms. Emphasis is given to areas administered by Interior and regions that are particularly threatened by invasive species, such as Hawaii, western rangelands, wetlands, the Great Lakes, and eastern waterways. The program includes: identification and reporting of new invasions and assessment of their environmental risks; methods for monitoring invasions (including remote sensing and GPS technologies), field sampling, and geographic information systems; determination of the effects of invasive species and the susceptibility of habitats to invasions; control approaches, with emphasis on reducing invasion impacts and restoring ecosystem processes and native species; and the development of invasive species information systems, including a national database on nonindigenous aquatic species. USGS is integrating invasive species information from domestic and international sources as part of the National Biological Information Infrastructure, and is working in partnership with the National Agricultural Library (NAL) to assist in developing the Council's Web site, discussed in Section 3 of the Plan.

The primary responsibility of the Biological Resources Division (BRD) within USGS is to assist resource and land managers (particularly those within Interior's agencies) by providing sound biological information and assisting in applying that information to the managers' needs. Thus, the BRD's mission is to "work with others to provide the scientific understanding and technologies needed to support the sound management and conservation of our Nation's biological resources." Investigating the causes, effects, prevention, and management of invasive and nonindigenous organisms with an eye to developing effective management solutions is one of BRD's identified scientific programs.

NPS is establishing 32 inventories and monitoring networks throughout the Service. The parks within each network are linked geographically and share natural resource characteristics. These networks will provide the parks with inventory and monitoring capabilities for priority needs within each network. Most of these networks have identified exotic or invasive species monitoring, as a high priority need.

Environmental Protection Agency

EPA's research activities include evaluation of ecological indicators (including non-native species) for surface waters, the effects of non-native species on wetland restoration, and studies on non-native submerged aquatic vegetation. In addition, EPA's research grant program is in the process of funding several million dollars of research on "biological pollution". There are other programs that can be modified to contribute to the overall assessment of invasive species. Two examples are the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (EMAP) and Regional Vulnerability Assessment program (ReVA).

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International Measures

Department of Agriculture

APHIS is involved in a number of bilateral, regional, and global plant and animal international conventions and agreements that deal with invasive species. Most significant at the global level is APHIS involvement with the World Trade Organization on the international agreement referred to as the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, which covers measures adopted to protect plant or animal life or health, which may affect international trade. A number of global standards for protection from invasive plant pests are currently under development (via International Plant Protection Convention). Standards for protection from invasive animal pests (via the Office International Des Epizooties) are currently being developed.

ARS works in partnership with international groups with common interests in invasive species, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Commonwealth Agriculture Bureau International (CABI) Bioscience, UK; Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Australia; EMBRAPA, Brazil; North American Plant Protection Organization; International Organization for Biological Control; and many others. ARS manages six overseas biological control laboratories (in France, Italy, Greece, Australia, China and Argentina), which facilitate foreign exploration for natural enemies of invasive species. This extensive network of contacts allows ARS to respond quickly to discoveries of new invasive species.

FS, through its International Programs (IP), provides assistance that promotes sustainable development, including cooperating with domestic and international organizations that further international programs for the protection of forests, rangelands, wildlife, and fisheries, and for related activities. These programs also provide assistance to appropriate partners for the prevention and control of insects and diseases. The budget for invasive species for FY 2000 is $1.5 million. It focuses on biological and chemical control of the Asian long-horned beetle, kudzu, mile-a-minute weed, and beech bark scale. FS IP also supports projects to help assess current and potential plant species affecting the Pacific Islands and to provide this information to agricultural and customs inspectors in those countries, providing a first line of defense to invasions into Hawaii, Guam and Compact countries.

CSREES works in partnership with international groups in a number of different ways when there are common interests regarding invasive species. Multi-State research and extension invasive species projects often have members from Canada or Mexico on issues that cross those borders.

Department of Commerce

NOAA is actively engaged in projects that integrate research with education on aquatic invasives in several regions shared by the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Under the Council of Commission on Environmental Co-Operation (CEC), NOAA is leading a project to address aquatic pathways of invasion in North America. These projects depend heavily upon partnerships with our neighboring countries for their success and provide a strong foundation on which to build a North American strategy on invasive species. NOAA's expertise on marine invasives is also needed in other regions, e.g., South Pacific Environmental Programme (SPREP).

Department of Defense

Defense has the responsibility to ensure that movement of U.S. military personnel, equipment, and supplies around the world does not provide a pathway for invasions by non-native species. To this end, Defense actively supports research, education, and policy development in such areas as brown tree snake containment and control, ballast water and aquatic weed management, and military quarantine. Defense also undertakes agreements on the management of invasive species with defense departments in other nations through bilateral, trilateral or multilateral agreements and supports the development and implementation of regional programs of cooperation on invasive species, such as SPREP.

Department of the Interior

Interior supports work on invasive species internationally through a wide variety of scientific, technical, and policy activities. For example: the USGS's BRD coordinates and promotes the invasive species components of the Inter-American Biodiversity Information Network (IABIN) and the North American Biodiversity Information Network (NABIN). BLM is leading efforts to exchange information and technical capacity on "best practices" for the management invasive species with South Africa through the U.S.-South Africa Binational Commission. NPS partners with other countries around the world to help conserve biodiversity within protected areas. The Secretary of the Interior has delegated FWS the lead in U.S. negotiations on invasive species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and plans to support development of a Global Invasive Species Database and Emergency Response System, with a focus on risk assessment and intentionally imported live animals and plants. The Office of Insular Affairs shares responsibility for brown tree snake control in the Pacific Islands.

Department of State

The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) is the U.S. focal point for foreign policy formulation and implementation on global environment, science, and technology issues. The Department of State (State) has, however, given lead negotiator privileges to other agencies when that agency's specific expertise clearly makes it in the U.S.'s best interest to do so. OES considers invasive species a high priority and has a proactive program to raise awareness of the issue among other governments, encourage intergovernmental cooperation, foster capacity-building efforts in developing countries, and support the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP). OES directs U.S. negotiations under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

Department of Transportation

International programs in the Department of Transportation (DOT) are not limited to ensuring safe and efficient transportation within the U.S., but aim to support and enforce a wide variety of U.S. interests. Many of DOT's actions have a direct impact on invasive species pathways. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard works closely with other agencies to develop and enforce international fisheries and maritime agreements, including those negotiated on ballast water management under the International Maritime Organization (IMO). DOT's Federal Aviation Administration addresses air transport issues and considers invasive species in the various actions that it takes. DOT has brought about involvement by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Environmental Protection Agency

While most of EPA's work with respect to invasive species is domestically focused, it does undertake programs of work in cooperation with other governments. In the Great Lakes region, for example, EPA works closely with Canadian agencies, as well as governments of the Baltic region through the Great Lakes/Baltic Sea Partnership Program. EPA leads U.S. activities under the North American Agreement for Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC).

Agency for International Development

U.S. foreign assistance has always had a twofold purpose of furthering the U.S.'s foreign policy interests (e.g., opening free markets) while improving the lives of citizens of the developing world. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the principal U.S. agency extending assistance to developing countries, and works in four major topical areas: economic growth and agricultural development; population, health, and nutrition; environment; and democracy and governance. These programs are targeted to four broad geographic regions: Sub-Saharan Africa; Asia and the Near East; Latin America and the Caribbean; and Europe and Eurasia. USAID has responsibility for ensuring that the U.S.'s development assistance programs do not lead to the introduction of invasive species in other nations. It is also well positioned to use its programs to support projects to eradicate and control invasive species where they are already established in developing countries, especially when food, water, and health security are at risk.

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) enables and encourages U.S. scientists, engineers, and their institutions to enhance their research and education programs through international cooperation. Support is available through a wide variety of programs, including fellowships, travel grants, workshops, research, and education projects. A set of these programs is explicitly dedicated to collaborative projects, the development of reliable data on the science and engineering resources in other countries, the advanced training of U.S. scientists and engineers overseas, and the development of international electronic networks. While NSF does not have a specific grant program on invasive species, projects relevant to minimizing the spread of invasive species have been funded under its existing programs.

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is responsible for developing and implementing trade policies which promote economic growth, support efforts to protect the environment, advance core labor standards, and create new opportunities for U.S. businesses, workers, and agricultural products. USTR sets and coordinates U.S. international trade, commodity, and direct investment policy. It also leads or directs U.S. negotiations with other countries (through entities such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)). Increasingly, invasive species are included among the issues that USTR considers within its efforts to protect the environment. The USTR/CEQ Guidelines for implementation of Executive Order 13141, Environmental Review of Trade Agreements, specifically references the need to analyze "changes in volume, pattern, and modes of transportation (e.g., increased or decreased potential for spread of invasive species, . . ." and "the potential for invasive species to compromise such biodiversity" (65 Federal Register 79449; Appendix C, II(b) and IV(E); December 19, 2000).

Global Invasive Species Programme

GISP is a multi-faceted effort undertaken by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) - a component of the International Council for Science (ICSU), in collaboration with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and CABI. GISP's mission is to raise awareness of the issue of invasive species and to develop new tools and approaches for dealing with the problem. GISP engages many constituencies in its efforts, including experts from a wide variety of disciplines, leaders in industry and international organizations, and government officials. GISP works closely with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), providing scientific and technical expertise, and is building strong relationships with other international programs, such as the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and WTO.

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Public Outreach and Partnership Efforts

Department of Agriculture

APHIS has a public affairs effort in place to respond to emergency situations and eradication programs. State and industry programs supplement this effort. APHIS provides information to the traveling public through programs that focus on pest exclusion efforts such as "Don't Pack a Pest," and provides information on program activities through its Web site and the NAPIS database. In addition, APHIS maintains a Web site ( that provides a wealth of information on current invasive species activities within APHIS.

NRCS administers the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), and the Forestry Incentive Program (FIP), which distribute monies to priority projects at the State level. Invasive species is one of the fundable topic areas. In the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), administered by the Farm Service Agency, NRCS provides technical support to help farmers identify and control noxious weeds and invasive plant species on farmland enrolled in the program. Private landowners and agricultural producers enrolled in the CRP, WRP and WHIP are responsible for controlling noxious weeds and invasive plant species on their respective acreage. Invasive species is one of the fundable topic areas. NRCS also is the major natural resource conservation information provider to private landowners, including invasive species information. The NRCS PLANTS Web site ( provides a single site for integrated State noxious weed lists, invasive plant lists, links to key sources of weed species biology and management information throughout the U.S. and the world, and plant guides used for restoring native plant communities. APHIS is cooperating with NRCS to expand the invasive plant information available through PLANTS, which receives over 2 million hits a month by users of plant information. PLANTS will exhibit APHIS information on key foreign species that are high threats targeted for exclusion.

FS administers a number of cooperative programs that assist partnerships and encourage forest stewardship for non-industrial forest landowners, including control of invasive species. The Forest Stewardship Program provides professional expertise and advice, and the Stewardship Incentive Program, which provides cost-share, supports private non-industrial forest landowners in implementing Forest Stewardship Plans. Other FS programs also provide technical assistance and educational technology transfers to partners.

CSREES is actively involved in public outreach and partnership efforts through its association with the Land Grant University System. The Extension Service provides a vital link, through on-campus programs and county offices across the U.S., bringing together the USDA, stakeholders and concerned citizens on this issue. County Extension Agents partner with research and extension scientists to deliver information to the general public on a variety of pest management issues, including invasive species.

ARS has extensive public outreach and partnership activities. For example, the Area wide Pest Management programs provide about $1 million per year for five years to transfer technology to manage invasive species. These programs concentrate on managing a single species, such as leafy spurge, codling moth and corn rootworm. About half of these funds are provided to Federal, State and local partners. NAL plays a key role in public outreach, such as developing and managing the Web site ( for the National Invasive Species Council. All ARS individual research programs produce non-technical information about its activities, and ARS scientists participate in many public field days each year.

Department of Commerce

NOAA's Sea Grant Program provides matching grants for outreach and education efforts dealing with aquatic nuisance species under the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act.

Department of Defense

CE has a 50% Federal / 50% local cost share arrangement with State and local governments, as mentioned above in the Control, Management and Restoration section. The Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station has produced a set of CD-ROMs. The first CD provides detailed information - identification, geographic distribution, and recommended control methods relating to 61 invasive terrestrial plants occurring on Defense lands. The second CD, subject to the availability of funding, will provide similar management information for the worst 100 noxious plant species on Defense's lands (target date of 2000).
Defense's Armed Forces Information Service is used to educate laypersons within Defense, and could be helpful in an invasive species outreach and education program.

Department of the Interior

BLM, as part of its Partners Against Weeds program, funds cooperative efforts with landowners to control invasive species. It also funds cooperative outreach and education projects with schools and local/ county governments.
NPS partners with the ARS, FS, and the State of Hawaii to develop and test biological control agents.
FWS works in partnership through many programs, such as the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the Coastal program, to provide outreach, technical and financial assistance to private landowners for habitat restoration issues including those involving invasive species.

Interagency Groups

ANSTF is a statutory entity set up under the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990. It is co-chaired by FWS and NOAA. Other Federal members are the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), CE, EPA, USDA, and State. ANSTF also includes 13 ex officio non-Federal stakeholders. ANSTF and its constituent agencies are responsible for carrying out and coordinating Federal invasive aquatic species activities, including: prevention of new introductions; monitoring nonindigenous species that have become established; controlling aquatic nuisance species; developing an education program; and sponsoring scientific research in order to reduce the impacts of such species.

The Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW) was established in August 1994 through a memorandum of understanding. The 16 Federal members participate voluntarily, with most agencies' representation considered a collateral duty of their position. Project support is currently provided on an ad hoc basis, usually from discretionary funds, by participating agencies and groups. FICMNEW's charter is to coordinate, through the respective Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, and Agency heads, information regarding the identification and extent of invasive plants in the U.S. and to coordinate Federal agency management of these species. FICMNEW accomplishes this charter by sharing scientific and technical information, fostering collaborative efforts among Federal agencies, and sponsoring technical and educational conferences and workshops concerning invasive plants. Through its open meetings and various forums, FICMNEW facilitates cooperation between the signatory agencies and numerous non-Federal agencies and private organizations. It also sponsors the Pulling Together Initiative (PTI) on invasive species, managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. PTI is a cost share program, funded by seven Federal agencies, which encourages partnerships for invasive weed management areas.

The Committee on Environment and Natural Resources Research (CENR) of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) was established to advise and assist the NSTC in increasing the effectiveness and productivity of Federal research and development efforts in the area of the environment and natural resources. CENR addresses science policy and research and development that cut across agency boundaries and provides a formal mechanism for interagency coordination relevant to domestic and international environmental and natural resources issues. CENR has identified invasive species as a priority focus for integrated ecosystem research, for which the Subcommittee on Ecological Systems (CENR/SES) has established an interagency Task Team on Invasive Species (TTIS). CENR members include representatives from the White House, NOAA, Smithsonian Institution (SI), EPA, DOE, NASA, NSF, USDA, OMB, Interior, DHHS, DOT, DHUD, Defense, State, FEMA, Tennessee Valley Authority, Office of the Coordinator for Meteorology, Central Intelligence Agency, and Council on Environmental Quality.

The Technical Advisory Group for the Biological Control of Weeds (TAGBCW) is administered by USDA-APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine. TAGBCW is an independent voluntary committee that was first formed in 1957 to provide advice to researchers on biological control of weeds. TAGBCW members review petitions for biological control of weeds and provide an exchange of views, information and advice to researchers and those in USDA-APHIS-PPQ responsible for issuing permits for importation, testing, and field release of biological control agents of weeds. TAGBCW members include USDA, Interior, EPA, plant-related boards, and the Governments of Canada and Mexico.

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