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What's New

Michigan and Illinois Sign Agreement to Advance Invasive Carp Prevention Project at Brandon Road Lock and Dam (Jan 7, 2021)
Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The governors of Illinois and Michigan today agreed to work jointly to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp species. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Gov. JB Pritzker today announced an intergovernmental agreement between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) which allows Illinois to use up to $8 million in funds appropriated in 2018 by the Michigan Legislature to support the pre-construction engineering and design (PED) phase of the Brandon Road Ecosystem Project. Further strengthening the path forward, the State of Illinois also signed a separate PED agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the initial Brandon Road design. The state will serve as the non-federal sponsor, agreeing to help fund design of a portion of the project and to further advance full project design efforts to approximately 30 percent completion.

The Brandon Road Lock and Dam in the Chicago Area Waterway System near Joliet, Illinois, is a critical pinch point for keeping bighead, silver and black carp – the invasive Asian carp species of greatest concern – out of the Great Lakes. The Brandon Road project would install layered technologies including an electric barrier, underwater sound, an air bubble curtain and a flushing lock in a newly engineered channel designed to prevent invasive carp movement while allowing barge passage.

Post Date: Jan 10, 2021
Montana, Washington Join Forces to Stop Feral Pigs (Dec 29, 2020)
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Montana Invasive Species Council.

The Montana and Washington invasive species councils have joined forces to stop wild pigs from crossing borders. The two councils issued a report with recommendations and best management practices aimed at helping federal, state, provincial and local landowners manage wild pigs in the western United States and Canada. "Wild pig populations are expanding in the western provinces of Canada and in the United States." said Stephanie Criswell, coordinator of the Montana Invasive Species Council. "We are at a unique point in time where we can work together to prevent Canadian wild pigs from spreading across borders into unaffected states like Montana."

In early 2020, the two invasive species councils convened a working group of more than 40 federal, state and Canadian feral swine experts to discuss challenges and opportunities to prevent feral swine along interstate and international borders. Finalized this month, the report includes 22 recommendations that address five strategic areas of feral swine management. Recommendations include standardizing communications to the public, expanding monitoring networks by partnering with non-traditional organizations such as hunting groups, and formalizing notification protocols for reports that will be shared between state and provincial authorities along the international border. The complete report can be found at misc.mt.gov.

Post Date: Jan 08, 2021
USDA Provides more than $70 Million in Fiscal Year 2021 to Protect Agriculture and Natural Resources from Plant Pests and Diseases (Jan 5, 2021)
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $70 million to support 383 projects under the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 program to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, to safeguard the nursery production system and to respond to plant pest emergencies. Universities, states, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits, and Tribal organizations will carry out selected projects in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

The fiscal year 2021 project list includes 29 projects funded through the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). The NCPN helps our country maintain the infrastructure necessary to ensure that pathogen-free, disease-free and pest-free certified planting materials for fruit trees, grapes, berries, citrus, hops, sweet potatoes, and roses are available to U.S. specialty crop producers. In FY 2021, funded projects include, among others:

  • Asian giant hornet research and eradication efforts: $944,116 in Washington and other states;
  • Exotic fruit fly survey and detection: $5,575,000 in Florida and California;
  • Agriculture detector dog teams: $4,287,097 to programs in California, Florida, and nationally to support detector dog teams;
  • Honey bee and pollinator health: $1,337,819 to protect honey bees, bumble bees and other important pollinators from harmful pests;
  • Phytophthora ramorum (sudden oak death pathogen) and related species: $513,497 in 14 states and nationally for survey, diagnostics, mitigation, probability modeling, genetic analysis, and outreach;

USDA will use $14 million to rapidly respond to invasive pest emergencies should a pest of high economic consequence be found in the United States. Learn more about the Plant Protection Act, Section 7721 on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website: www.aphis.usda.gov/ppa-projects.

Post Date: Jan 06, 2021
ARS Science Key to Stopping ‘Man-Eating’ Parasite (Jan 4, 2021)
USDA. ARS. Tellus.

Eliminating screwworms from the United States saves farmers and ranchers nearly $900 million in lost livestock each year.

Post Date: Jan 05, 2021
USDA Updates Pale Cyst Nematode Regulations to Allow for Public Review of Future Changes to Domestic Quarantine Protocols (Dec 29, 2020)
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is updating domestic regulations for pale cyst nematode (PCN, Globodera pallida). The update will allow for a public comment period for future changes to program protocols for regulating and deregulating PCN-infested and associated areas. PCN is a microscopic soil-pest of potato crops, which causes significant yield losses if left uncontrolled. In North America, the nematode is known to be present in Idaho and on the island of Newfoundland, Canada.

APHIS regulates infested fields and fields that may have been exposed to PCN-infested soil, and accordingly restricts the interstate movement of potatoes and other regulated articles from these quarantined areas to prevent this pest's spread. With this update, APHIS is amending Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations § 301.86-3(c)(1) and (d) to state that if APHIS considers making a change to the regulation or deregulation protocols, the agency will publish a notice in the Federal Register to inform the public of the proposed change, and solicit public feedback. After reviewing public comments, APHIS will publish the final notice and inform the public of changes made to the protocols as well as the reasons behind them. Members of the public can view the final rule, supporting documents, and additional information here: https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2018-0041. This action will go into effect on Jan. 28, 2021, 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Post Date: Jan 01, 2021
Local Government Aquatic Invasive Species Toolkit
Local Government Aquatic Invasive Species Toolkit.

Toolkit to assist local governments with navigating the regulatory framework associated with high-risk priority aquatic invasive species.
Note: Financial support was provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of Interior, under award # F20AP00238.

Post Date: Dec 28, 2020
Texas A&M AgriLife Researchers Make Breakthrough in Fighting Agricultural Plant Diseases (Nov 16, 2020)
Texas A&M University. AgriLife Extension Service.

USDA NIFA research investment in Texas A&M AgriLife leads to breakthrough in fighting agricultural plant diseases. Researchers have made a discovery that will help combat fastidious pathogens, which cost U.S. agriculture alone billions of dollars annually.

Post Date: Dec 23, 2020
Western Governors' Association Launches Invasive Species Data Mobilization Campaign (Dec 18, 2020)
Western Governors' Association.

The Invasive Species Data Mobilization Campaign of the Western Governors’ Association seeks to encourage national, state, and local land managers, private landowners, and non-governmental organizations to enter previously unavailable data into new or existing invasive species data management platforms using recommendations (May 2018; PDF | 244 KB) developed by WGA and invasive species data experts. WGA and the North American Invasive Species Management Association launched the campaign in December, 2020 with a webinar featured representatives from the four existing data platforms -- EDDMapS, iMapInvasives, BISON, and USGS NAS -- discussing the importance of invasive species data standardization and sharing.

Post Date: Dec 23, 2020
Updated Recommendations for the Quagga and Zebra Mussel Action Plan for Western U.S. Waters (Sep 2020) (PDF | 3.93 MB)
Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species.

The Western Regional Panel prepared Quagga and Zebra Mussel Action Plan 2.0 to inform ongoing management and partnership efforts intended to minimize the spread and impacts from zebra and quagga mussels in the western United States. The original QZAP action items have guided prevention, containment, research, and management to address the ecological and economic impacts of invasive quagga and zebra mussels since 2009. The purpose of QZAP 2.0 is to provide a systematic and unified approach to prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels into and within the western United States in the future. The urgency and the need for such a coordinated approach remain as important today as ever before. Newly infested waters, increased boating pressure, and gained public and political awareness drove the need for the Western Regional Panel to acknowledge and learn from the past and set forth a new collective path towards the future. These recommendations are intended to inform decision-making to provide increased capacity and clear direction that empowers the further implementation of a collaborative and coordinated multi-jurisdictional regional strategy to prevent the spread of quagga and zebra mussels in the West. For more resources, see: Key Documents

Post Date: Dec 22, 2020
APHIS Changes Approach to Fight Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) (Dec 14, 2020)
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is changing its approach to fight the emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation that has spread through much of the United States. The Agency is publishing a final rule that removes the federal domestic EAB quarantine regulations that have proved ineffective and will redirect resources to more promising methods. Removing the quarantine regulations ends APHIS' domestic regulatory activities, which includes actions such as issuing permits, certificates and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations.

The final rule and the response to the comments we received will publish in the Federal Register on December 15, 2020 and be rule will be effective on January 14, 2021. Documents may be viewed online at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=APHIS-2017-0056 upon publication.

For more information, see: Questions and Answers: Changes in the Approach toward Fighting the Emerald Ash Borer (Dec 2020; PDF | 692 KB)

Post Date: Dec 19, 2020