USDA, Forest Service and North American Invasive Species Management Association Announce Agreement to Strengthen Invasive Species Prevention and Management Programs

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A landmark agreement between USDA, Forest Service and the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) will improve the prevention and control of invasive species across North America. USDA, Forest Service manages 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 43 states and Puerto Rico and provides technical and financial assistance to over 731 million acres of rural and urban forests of all ownerships.

“Invasive species do not respect property lines. We must foster cooperation on invasive species management across borders if we are going to successfully address the invasive species problem," said Belle Bergner, Executive Director of NAISMA.

The USDA, Forest Service and the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) have entered a Memorandum of Understanding together that will strengthen the capacity of the Forest Service to prevent and control the introduction and spread of invasive species. This agreement will foster greater cooperation among the two organizations and allow for more effective invasive species management across the continent.

“Invasive species do not respect property lines. We must foster cooperation across borders if we are going to successfully address the invasive species problem. This Forest Service – NAISMA agreement marks a significant step forward toward NAISMA’s vision, to have North America’s lands and waters protected from invasive species,” said Belle Bergner, Executive Director of NAISMA.

“This agreement leverages decades of invasive species prevention work between our two organizations that will better protect the continent from the devastating ecological impacts of invasive species,” said Mike Ielmini, National Invasive Species Program Manager, USDA Forest Service.

The mission of NAISMA is to support, promote, and empower invasive species prevention and management in North America. NAISMA accomplishes this by fostering cooperation and collaboration across jurisdictional boundaries through networking, collaboration, and specific programs.

USDA, Forest Service will cooperate with NAISMA through:

  • NAISMA’s Weed Free Forage and Gravel Standards and Certification program, which ensures that governmental entities and noxious weed inspectors meet the same minimum standards to prevent the spread of invasive species through the production and transport of hay, forage, mulch, and gravel. There are currently 28 states participating in this program.
  • Training programs for professionals and students on invasive species management including courses and up-to-date materials on invasive species identification, prevention, mapping, Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR), control, and restoration techniques which comply with local, state, tribal, provincial, and federal regulations and protocols. NAISMA’s online Invasive Species Management program provides the most comprehensive training available on invasive species identification, ecology, management, prevention, and regulations.
  • Raising awareness of the invasive species threat and empowering citizens and organizations to be stewards of the environment by preventing the accidental spread of invasive species through their own activities. NAISMA’s official education and outreach campaign PlayCleanGo, is coordinated through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and now has 515 partners across North America.
  • Maintaining NAISMA’s Invasive Species Mapping Standards, and promoting innovative, collaborative approaches for invasive species management data sharing.
  • Working with NAISMA and other organizations across the nation to help increase capacity for citizen science volunteers to map aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in Wilderness Areas, Wild & Scenic Rivers, and other wild places through the Wild Spotter campaign (http://www.wildspotter.org).

As one of the largest federal land management agencies in the United States, the Forest Service directly manages public lands and waters from Alaska to the Caribbean and plays an important role in establishing, funding, and promoting local Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs) and Cooperative Weed Management Areas (CWMAs); these are critical landscape-scale partnerships to collaborate against invasive species across all ownerships and jurisdictional boundaries. The Forest Service also provides technical and financial assistance to state natural resource and agricultural agencies, tribal governments, and other federal land management agencies to respond to and manage invasive and native forest pests that threaten the Nation’s 731 million acres of rural and urban forests of all ownerships.

The Forest Service Capitalizes on its wide array of programs, expertise, authorities, and assistance programs to work cooperatively across the landscape with local-, state-, tribal-, and federal-government partners; and with private landowners and non-government partners to prevent and control invasive species and restore impacted areas. In this regard, the Forest Service has a long-standing collaborative relationship with NAISMA; working closely together on important issues related to invasive species awareness, education, prevention, and international cooperation. The Forest Service and NAISMA have partnered to promote innovative solutions to prevent and control the spread of invasive species across the landscape in cooperation with partners at multiple levels.

For more information and to read the agreement in full, visit http://www.naisma.org

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Belle Bergner
@NAISMA_org
since: 11/2016
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