The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has analyzed the potential environmental effects of establishing an integrated management strategy to control cogongrass in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. The draft environmental assessment is now available for comment. Cogongrass is an invasive exotic grass found on public and private property, along roadways, in forests, and on farmland. This federally regulated noxious weed grows rapidly, reducing forest productivity, harming wildlife habitat and ecosystems, and encroaching on pastures and hayfields. Because of cogongrass' impact on agriculture and forest industries, Congress has given APHIS funding to partner with Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina to control the spread of this weed. APHIS is proposing is an integrated management strategy that uses preventive, cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical methods to control cogongrass in key areas of its distribution. APHIS invites the public to review and comment on this environmental assessment by April 1, 2020.
Invasive Species Resources
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USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
DOD. USACE. Omaha District.
A draft integrated letter report and programmatic environmental assessment has been developed to determine the economic and environmental impacts of federal participation in state-managed watercraft inspection programs along the Upper Missouri River Basin in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. Public comments on the draft EA will be accepted until March 2, 2021.
The existing watercraft inspection programs are managed collaboratively by the states of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, where watercraft transported along highways are inspected for the presence of aquatic invasive species and decontaminated when detected. If approved, federal participation in the program would be cost-shared (50 percent) with each of the states, and would employ a regional strategy to identify locations that would provide the greatest likelihood of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species to reservoirs operated and maintained by the Corps in the Upper Missouri River Basin.
USDA. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
USDA is accepting applications from non-federal, not-for-profit partners for projects to help agricultural producers and private landowners trap and control feral swine, which is part of the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program (FSCP). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is making $12 million available and will accept applications through November 5, 2020, in eight priority states during its second round of project funding. FSCP is a joint effort between NRCS and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The second round of funding is for partners to carry out activities as part of the identified pilot projects in select areas of Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
Additional information on specific pilot projects, including target areas and the roles for which partner assistance is being requested, can be found on the FSCP webpage. Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov by 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 5, 2020.
United States Department of Agriculture.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $11.65 million in 14 projects to help agricultural producers and private landowners trap and control feral swine as part of the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program. This investment expands the pilot program to new projects in Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. This pilot program is a joint effort between USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
This second round of funding is for partners to carry out activities as part of the identified pilot projects in select states. "These awards enable landowners to address the threat that feral swine pose to natural resources and agriculture," NRCS Acting Chief Kevin Norton said. "The projects we have identified will be key to addressing the feral swine problem."
DOC. NOAA. Fisheries.
Natural resource managers in British Columbia discovered several adult male and female European green crabs on Haida Gwaii this past July. Alarm bells immediately went off for biologists in Alaska. The archipelago of Haida Gwaii, off the coast of Prince Rupert in British Columbia, is very close to Alaska. The July discovery is the closest confirmed finding of the invasive crustacean since it was first detected in the San Francisco Bay area in 1989.
United States Senate. Mark R. Warner.
U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced $1,549,891 in federal funding for the University of Virginia (UVA) and Virginia Tech to improve resources for the U.S. agricultural industry and rural communities. This funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s Food and Agriculture Cyberinformatics and Tools (FACT) Initiative, which focuses on data-driven solutions to address problems facing the agricultural industry. Funding includes $499,952 for the University of Virginia to better understand America's agricultural commodity flows and their role in the spread of invasive species, which is important for food security and economic stability. This project will help provide policy makers with guidance to better address vulnerabilities in food systems.