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2017-04-20: Introduced scale impacts Phragmites: Seminar on April 27th

From Rodrigo Diaz, PhD, via Terri Hogan (NPS), and Linda Nelson (ACE):

Please see the announcement below for the webinar on the introduced scale insect that is impacting Phragmites stands along the Gulf Coast. Linda Nelson has provided also this link to The Times-Picayune article on the subject.

In fall 2016, the scale Nipponaclerda biwakoensis (Kuwana) (Hemiptera: Aclerdidae) was discovered attacking Phragmites (roseau cane) in Plaquemines Parish. The native range of this scale includes China and Japan. The objectives of the webinar will be to describe the problem, present current knowledge on the biology and ecology of the scale, and propose short and long term management options.

Presenters: Drs. Jim Cronin, Blake Wilson and Rodrigo Diaz

The webinar will be on Thursday, April 27th at 10:00 am CST; but please join the webinar by 9:50 am.

IMPORTANT: Please make sure you can access ACANO by clicking the link below now. Add your name and click 'Join call', see the page, then click 'Leave'. Once you confirm the access, you should be good for Thursday. If you cannot access the ACANO, please contact our IT specialist Adam Woerner,

Click to join:


Rodrigo Diaz, PhD

2017-04-10: Invasive 'superweed' threatens soybeans, other crops in Midwest

ST. PAUL, Minn. — An invasive weed has lawmakers and officials in Minnesota scrambling to protect the state’s crops.

Palmer amaranth, a noxious weed (native to the southwestern US) that can grow up to eight feet tall, crept into two counties in western Minnesota last fall after it got into federal conservation program seed mixes used to plant native grasses. The weed has been identified in several other Midwest states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and Ohio. Agronomists estimate it can choke out up to 90 percent of farmers’ corn yields and 80 percent of soybean yields. (more information at link provided above)

Also see:

(Young/Polansek, Reuters, April 6).

2017-04-10: Free Webinar: Working with industry to reduce the spread of invasive ornamental plants

The National Association of Invasive Plant Councils invites you to attend a free webinar on April 20 at 3 PM ET.

To register, please visit this link:

2017-04-10: Wildlife Forever releases Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ annual accomplishment report

Working in tandem with state and federal agencies, local governments, universities, lake associations and the outdoor industry, national invasive species prevention messaging from the Clean Drain Dry Initiative generated over 130 million outreach impressions.

“This report showcases the benefit of partnerships in tackling our nation’s conservation challenges. From access to boating and fishing to providing safe drinking water, invasive species threaten our natural resources, the cornerstone of our economy,” said Pat Conzemius, Conservation Director for Wildlife Forever.

View the full report here:

The Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ is a national campaign to educate outdoor recreational users on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Coordinated invasive species messaging focuses on strategic content, marketing communications and outreach tools on how to prevent. To learn how you can participate or sponsor, contact: Pat Conzemius: or visit


2017-03-30: APHIS Releases New Weed Risk Assessments

APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) has posted Weed Risk Assessments (WRA) for the following seven weed species:

The purpose of a WRA is to evaluate the likelihood that a weed species will escape, naturalize, and spread in the United States, and harm U.S. natural and agricultural resources. PPQ prepares a WRA when:

  • A species shows some threat potential in the United States or abroad,

  • Someone requests to import a species that is either new to the United States, or if present, not widely distributed and poses a potential threat; or

  • A stakeholder submits a request to APHIS to add a species to the Federal Noxious Weed List.

Stakeholders can use WRAs to support their own management or policy decisions as needed. To view or print these or other assessments, visit APHIS’ Noxious Weeds Program Risk Assessments Web page. We welcome your questions or comments about the WRAs via email at

2017-03-24: Natural Areas Conference Call for Proposals is Now Open

Thanks to Terri Hogan (NPS):

We are now accepting proposals for the 2017 Natural Areas Conference! The 44th annual Conference will be held October 10-12, 2017, at the Hilton Fort Collins. This venue is right on the edge of the Colorado State University Campus, in the shadow of Colorado's beautiful Front Range. Our theme this year is Working Beyond Boundaries: Collaboration as a Key to Natural Areas Management.

Deadline for the Call for Proposals is May 12.

We invite proposals related to these topics:

  • Conservation Across (Natural/Political/Cultural) Boundaries
  • Urban/Wildland Interface
  • Wilderness and Research Natural Areas Management
  • Value of Healthy Land in Water Resource Management
  • Role of Native Plant Materials in Restoration & Rehabilitation
  • Role of Natural Areas in Pollinator and Invertebrate Conservation
  • Natural Areas Management in Light of Climate Change
  • Value of Ecosystem Services and Working Landscapes
  • Restoration in the Anthropocene
  • Communicating About Natural Areas Conservation
  • Technology for Land Management Success
  • Forest and Range Management
  • Wildland Fire as a Management Tool
  • Invasive Species Management
  • Species Re/Introductions & Assisted Migration
  • Rare Species Management

Visit our conference website to find more details about proposal types and to submit your proposal.

Types of proposals we are seeking:

Special Sessions

  • Organized oral sessions
  • Symposia
  • Workshops

General Sessions

  • Oral Presentations
  • Poster Presentations

 We especially encourage students to submit abstracts for General Session oral and poster presentations. Students will be eligible to compete for prizes in the student presentation competition. Find out more about what the 2017 Natural Areas Conference offers students.


Colorado, Fort Collins and Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado is the cultural capital of northern Colorado. It’s also the state’s craft brewery capital, with more than 20 local breweries, including the nationally famous New Belgium brewery, maker of Fat Tire beers.

 Fort Collins is conveniently located near Rocky Mountain National Park, the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, and Pawnee National Grassland, as well as one of the many natural areas owned by the city of Fort Collins: Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. Fort Collins is also the home of Colorado State University and its nationally recognized Warner College of Natural Resources


Student Scholarships Available

We're now taking applications for student scholarships up to $500 to be used for registration (includes Student-Mentor Networking lunch, NAA membership lunch, Awards Dinner, and field trip), lodging, and travel to the 2017 Natural Areas Conference. The deadline for applying for the John W. Humke student scholarship is May 19, 2017.

Full-time students attending accredited institutions and majoring in an applicable field such as natural resource management, biology, ecology, conservation, or related subjects are eligible to apply. You must be a current NAA student member to be eligible for the scholarship. Not a member? Join today or join when you register for the conference, at the special student rate. Apply now.

Nominations for Awards Open

Nominations are now open for the Natural Areas Association's George B. Fell and Carl N. Becker Awards. 

These awards represent recognition of the best and brightest in our natural areas professional community, and are a huge highlight of our yearly Awards Banquet at the Natural Areas Conference. Do you know a colleague who deserves to be recognized? Find out more about our Awards and the nomination process.

 For info on sponsorship opportunities, contact Executive Director Lisa Smith at or visit

See you in Fort Collins!

2017-03-24: Western Society of Weed Science's Rita Beard Endowment Foundation

Thanks to Phil Banks:
The Western Society of Weed Science has created, with an endowment by Rita Beard's family, the Rita Beard Endowment Foundation. Its purpose is to support students and early career invasive species managers with educational opportunities including registration and travel to professional meetings.
For more information about Rita and to donate to the foundation, please visit:

2017-03-24: Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers Campaign Changes

The Fish and Wildlife Service and partners have made extensive changes to the Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers campaign, including the addition of new taglines to the campaign brand, the creation of new brand standards, a new website and web address and new co-branding capabilities.  Also, the Service is in the process of creating a digital tackle box that will include boat ramp sign, sticker and banner templates s as well as new online and print media applications, hopefully to be ready by the summer.
Check out the new website (, download the new campaign resources that interest you or contact them at to get these graphic materials sent to you directly.  All of the campaign materials are available free of charge.  By using these materials that engage the public you help empower recreational users to be good stewards by adopting the Clean, Drain, Dry procedures.

2017-03-24: Milfoiled again: Hybrid milfoil may be more troublesome than Eurasian variety

Thanks to Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers
Milfoil has snagged the aquatic invasive species spotlight after a new study revealed some varieties may be tougher to treat than the old foe Eurasian milfoil.

2017-03-22: UN Report Slams Global Use of Pesticides

Thanks to Kerry Clark:

A report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food of the UN Human Rights Council, is very critical of pesticide use around the world.

Paragraphs 35 to 37 address effects on pollinators, while 38-39 address glyphosate and genetically engineered crops.

"36. Neonicotinoids are accused of being responsible for “colony collapse disorder” of bees worldwide. For example, heavy use of these insecticides has been blamed for the 50 per cent decline over 25 years in honeybee populations in both the United States and the United Kingdom ...estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), of some 100 crop species (which provide 90 per cent of global food), 71 per cent are pollinated by bees."

It may be a controversial document, with challenges that the citations are often news reports rather than science, and details such as 50 % honey bee decline, or 71 % of crops providing 90 % of food, being pollinated by bees, but it's a potentially influential statement.

It has been picked up by the media and by social pressure organizations, already gaining ~75,000 signatures on one petition.

2017-03-21: Save the Date: Invasive Plant Conference 2017

The Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council and the Society for Ecological Restoration, Mid-Atlantic Chapter will co-host an invasive plant conference on August 1-2, 2017, at Juniata College in Huntington Pennsylvania, called "Invasion Biology: Paths to Conservation and Restoration Success."

Landscape Design Symposium


2017-03-21: H. R. 1357: Stamp Out Invasive Species Act

Elise Stefanik (NY District 21) introduced on March 2nd the Stamp Out Invasive Species Act to provide for the issuance of a semipostal to benefit programs that combat invasive species. The Bill has since been assigned to a House Committee and is estimated to have a 5% chance of passage. See more at:

2017-03-21: Scotch Broom Ecology and Management Symposium May 23rd, Snoqualmie, WA

A 2017 report commissioned by Washington State agencies ( analyzed the ecological and economic impacts of 23 invasive species to Washington's landscapes, agriculture, business, and recreation.
Of the 23 species, Scotch broom is one of the most costly to Washington. The invasive species is a serious threat to native prairies and forests. It prevents timber regeneration and displaces pasture forage for grazing animals. The plant is also toxic to livestock and is a fire hazard. If Scotch broom is allowed to spread an additional 12 percent a year in Washington, it has the potential total economic impact of $142.7 million and the loss of 660 jobs.
To share information that can be used to address and mitigate impacts to Washington’s economy and natural resources, the Washington State Invasive Species Council in partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe Environmental and Natural Resources Department, Washington State agencies, the Scotch Broom Working Group, King County Noxious Weed Control Program, and a consortium of researchers will hold a statewide Scotch Broom Ecology and Management Symposium.
To learn more visit 

2017-03-13: World Congress on Parasitic Plants - June 25-30, 2017, Pacific Grove, California

Thanks to Rosalind James, ARS:

You are warmly invited to the 14th World Congress on Parasitic Plants. This congress, first convened in 1973 in Malta, brings together researchers from all parts of the world to discuss their latest findings in parasitic plant biology. Topics to be discussed this year include parasitic plant genes and genomes, ecology and evolution, and the biochemistry and physiology of host plant-parasitic plant interactions. Here is the flyer with more details. Abstracts Deadline is April 14th.

2017-03-10: 115th Congress - Lawmakers have introduced three bills to fight invasive species, two in the House and one in the Senate.


H.R. 943 – Finding Innovative Lionfish Elimination Technologies Act of 2017. To authorize the Secretary of Commerce to award competitive grants to combat the certain species of lionfish in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The bill was introduced by U.S. Representative Carlos Curbelo of Florida’s 26th District and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.

H.R. 1330 - Federal Land Invasive Species Control, Prevention, and Management Act. To improve the control and management of invasive species that threaten and harm Federal land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior, and for other purposes. The bill was introduced by U.S. Representative Mark E. Amodei of Nevada’s 2nd District and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture.

S. 509 - A bill to improve the control and management of invasive species that threaten and harm Federal land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior, and for other purposes. The bill was introduced by U.S. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

2017-03-09: Did you miss National Invasive Species Awareness Week? Watch the Webinars Online

National Invasive Species Awareness Week had multiple events held in Washington DC and across the nation to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional, international and national scales. If you missed the events, the webinars can still be viewed under the links for each day at this URL:

2017-03-09: Save the date: 2017 Western Weed Coordinating Committee Annual Meeting

Thanks to Hilary Smith, DOI:

The Western Weed Coordinating Committee (WWCC) is a voluntary organization made up of state and federal agencies, state weed coordinators, NGOs, and many other entities all concerned about invasive species, particularly invasive plant species. The WWCC and its members are dedicated to preventing the introduction and spread of noxious weeds and undesirable plants in the western United States.
The dates for their 2017 annual meeting are 28-30 November. Details will follow at:

2017-03-09: Save the date: March 19-22, 2018 IPM symposium in Baltimore

The 9th International IPM Symposium to be held March 19-22, 2018 in Baltimore, MD. The call for session proposals is below and the Symposium website address is . The call for posters will be coming out at a later date. One major topic on the agenda is Invasive Plants.

2017-03-09: Dicambia drift affects nontarget plants and pollinators

Thanks to Mary Purcell-Miramontes, NIFA:

Here is an interesting study funded by EPA on the potential impacts of herbicides on pollinators. More collaborative studies in research and extension activities to develop strategies to control weeds and protect pollinators would be very valuable. Feel free to pass along to others.

Check out this article from the Penn State news site:

2017-02-17: North American Invasive Species Forum: Registration Open

Thanks to Chuck Bargeron, UGA:

Registration for NAISF (formerly Weeds Across Borders) is open! Registration is $200 and includes 3 lunches and 2 dinners. Early Registration and Hotel Block is available until March 31, 2017. Optional Field Trips are available on Thursday Afternoon,May 11 – Saturday, May 13. Space is limited for some trips.

About the Forum

North American Invasive Species Forum - Building Cooperation Across Borders

The North American Invasive Species Forum is a biennial conference encompassing the interests of professionals and organizations involved in invasive species management, research, and regulation in North America.
The Forum expands on the previous successes of the biennial Weeds Across Borders conferences, bringing together the international invasive species community. This Forum will include the latest information on policy and cross-border coordination of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species management – including discussions on innovative and effective approaches for collaboration with indigenous and tribal groups, local communities, government agencies, industry, not-for-profit organizations, and other stakeholders – with the objective of outlining a continental Strategic Framework for aquatic and terrestrial invasive species across North America.
In addition to the three-day event, with opportunities for post-forum field trips along the Georgia coast and a pre-forum workshop on invasive species mapping and data. The North American Invasive Species Network is hosting this Forum with the support of, and guidance from, an international steering committee representing the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. We hope that you will plan to enjoy the beautiful Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens setting.

Meeting Location

Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens

Way back when the property was a USDA plant introduction station, locals first affectionately dubbed it "the Bamboo Farm." Today, as a facility within the University of Georgia Extension, it is now known as the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.
Located 10 miles southwest of historic downtown Savannah, Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens is also 19 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. It is in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 8b, with an annual average minimum temperature of 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. On average, there are about 140 summer days with temperatures above 86 degrees.
To learn more about the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, please visit their website.

2017-02-17: Invasive species are on the rise worldwide, study finds


From Mary Purcell (NIFA):

(I4U News) February 15, 2017 – Researchers from UK, Germany, and Austria have teamed up to analyze the record of worldwide invasive species and they have shown that the spread of non-native species have increased tremendously during the last 200 years, with almost one third of all invasive species first reported between 1970 and 2014...Using a database of more than 45,000 first records of over16, 000 alien species, researchers have also shown that alien invasion is still not reached the point of slowdown or saturation. In fact, it is increasing over time. 37% of all recorded alien species were introduced between 1970 and 2014 while the peak came in 1996 when 585 new invasive species were documented worldwide... Researchers suggest that there is an urgent need to employ more effective prevention policies at large scale before new exotic species gain a foothold outside their region of origin and alter foreign landscapes.

2017-02-16: NISAW events and the National Park Service

From Terri Hogan:

A new InsideNPS article explains how parks and programs can participate in National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW), February 27-March 3. The NPS national Natural Resources Stewardship and Science offices are planning to really promote NISAW and the importance of managing invasive species, and we are inviting parks, regions, and programs to participate!



2017-02-16: APHIS Extends Comment Period on Proposed Rule that Revises Requirements for Importation and Interstate Movement of Plant Pests, Biocontrol Agents, and Soil

APHIS proposes to revise the regulations in 7 CFR part 330 that govern the movement into and within the United States of plant pests, biological control agents, and soil, and is soliciting public comments until April 19, 2017. The comment period has been extended for 30 days to give stakeholders and the public additional time to submit comments on the proposed change. The proposed action will align plant pest regulations with current APHIS policies, remove obsolete requirements, streamline the permit process for low risk organisms, and update requirements for the import of foreign soil.


Regarding the regulation of plant pests, this proposed rule would:


  • Clarify the risk-based criteria APHIS uses to determine if an organism is a plant pest and to evaluate and issue permits.
  • Revise the definition of a plant pest to include organisms of unknown risk if those organisms are similar to known plant pests.
  • Allow the use of general web-based permits for importation and interstate movement into the continental United States of certain low risk pests.
  • Put in place a notice-based process to establish and maintain a list of pests exempted from standard permit requirements. The exempted list would include plant pests that are established throughout their geographical range in the United States; low risk; or commercially available and under purview of another Federal agency, such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

As it relates to the regulation of biological control organisms, this proposed rule would:


  • Establish criteria regarding the movement and release of certain biological control agents in the continental United States, and
  • Establish exemptions for certain biological control organisms similar to what is being proposed for widely prevalent, low-risk plant pests.

The proposed rule would also update the regulations to more appropriately reflect the risk from soil that accompanies a plant pest by:


  • Including soil as an “associated article” (i.e., soil that accompanies a plant pest),
  • Updating the definition of soil, and
  • Clarifying what is not considered soil.

The proposed rule is available in the Federal Register. The deadline to submit comments is extended until April 19, 2017. APHIS will carefully review and consider all comments received before making a decision regarding the importation and interstate movement of plant pests, biocontrol agents, and soil.


To review the proposed rule or submit comments, go to!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2008-0076.


Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2008-0076, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

2017-02-16: You are invited to the National Invasive Species Awareness Week Events in Washington, DC

Meet the Experts to Learn About Pressing Invasive Species Issues
Help us observe National Invasive Species Awareness Week on Capitol Hill during the week of February 27th-March 3rd, held in cooperation with the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus. Participate in events throughout this week to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional, and national scales.
A Week's Worth of Events
  • Lunchtime Seminars 
  • Afternoon Webinars
  • Evening Fair and Reception
  • Field Trips
Full agenda
If You Plan on Coming to NISAW Events in DC, Please RSVP Using This Google Form.
We Thank Our Generous Sponsors: Bayer Crop Science, Dow AgroSciences, Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, Reduce Risks from Invasive Species Coalition, Syngenta, Weed Science Society of America, National Association of Invasive Plant Councils.

2017-02-14: Third Edition of the Global Compendium of Weeds by Rod Randall

From Jamie Reasor and Souad Boudjelas:

Email from Rod Randall:

The third and final edition of the Global Compendium of Weeds is now available from my research gate account.

Its VERY large, around 68 meg and 3,659 pages, I didn’t want to try publishing it in several volumes, that makes searching problematic and as a pdf it searches pretty quickly as it is, despite its size. Its far harder to deal with as a word document, it certainly tried my patience on a number of occasions.

People who host websites please feel free to make the text available for download, the more the merrier. My permission to do so is included in my introduction.


Cheers, r



2017-02-13: Comment Period on Proposed Biotechnology Rule Revisions Extended to June 19, 2017



The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced the comment period on its proposed revisions to its biotechnology regulations will remain open through June 19, 2017. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.

APHIS will consider all public comments received on or before June 19, 2017. Notice of this comment period closing date was published in the Federal Register on February 10, 2017.

To view the notice and submit public comments, please go to our online public comment portal.

View More Information on the Proposed Rule

2017-01-31: USGS' Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database Now has Apps for Reporting

The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) Database is excited to announce the release of their long-awaited mobile app for both Android and iOS. Previously, non-native aquatic species sighting reports could only be sent via our NAS website. The NAS mobile app allows the public to report non-native aquatic species sightings, including coordinates and photographs, in a more portable and efficient manner than through the website. Reports submitted via the web and mobile sighting report forms are reviewed by NAS taxonomic experts prior to entry into the NAS database. We do not require contact information in the sighting report form, but we do suggest users provide an e-mail address for follow-up questions by NAS staff.

Users can download either version of the app here:

Pam Fuller
Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Program

2017-01-26: Guide to Preventing Aquatic Invasive Species Transport by Wildland Fire Operations

From Cynthia Tait (FS), via Hilary Smith (DOI):

Below is the link to the official 2017 ‘Guide to Preventing Aquatic Invasive Species Transport by Wildland Fire Operations’, approved and posted by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group today. This document is backed by research at San Dimas Technology and Development Center and recent scientific literature, and has been vetted by interagency fire aviation and ground operations groups, as well as invasives scientists. The intent is to provide clear and straight-forward, yet effective, preventative measures and decontamination methods for use in wildland fire operations. I hope this document is helpful, and please let me know if you have questions or comments!

2017-01-25: APHIS proposed rule on the movement of plant pests is open for comment until 20 March

From Jonathan Jones (APHIS):

A proposed rule on movement of plant pests was published by USDAQ-APHIS in the Federal Register on 19 January with the public comment period currently open until 20 March.

Summary from APHIS

We are proposing to revise our regulations regarding the movement of plant pests. We are proposing criteria regarding the movement and environmental release of biological control organisms, and are proposing to establish regulations to allow the importation and movement in interstate commerce of certain types of plant pests without restriction by granting exceptions from permitting requirements for those pests. We are also proposing to revise our regulations regarding the movement of soil. This proposed rule replaces a previously published proposed rule, which we are withdrawing as part of this document. This proposal would clarify the factors that would be considered when assessing the risks associated with the movement of certain organisms and facilitate the movement of regulated organisms and articles in a manner that also protects U.S. agriculture.

2017-01-24: Video on using goats to curb weeds on hills

Thanks to Mary Ann Rondinella, FHWA:

Here is a link to a short video on the use of goats to curb weeds on steep hillsides near San Diego:


2017-01-19: Webinar Online: Rangeland Management to Address Invasive Species

from the Western Governors Association


Check out the January 12 webinar, “Rangeland Management Strategies and Tools: Promoting Resiliency and Addressing Invasive Species”, the third in a series for WGA Chair Gov. Steve Bullock’s National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative. Please follow this link to watch the webinar, or to download the presentation slides.

2017-01-19: USDA Requests Public Input on Revision of Biotechnology Regulations

From USDA: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing proposed revisions to its biotechnology regulations in a notice that will publish in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017. The proposed rule updates the regulations in a number of areas, all within the Agency’s current statutory authority under the Plant Protection Act passed into law in 2000. The proposed rule is based on the best available science, will better enable APHIS to focus its resources on regulating genetically engineered (GE) organisms that may pose plant pest or noxious weed risks, and will enhance regulatory flexibilities that stimulate innovation and competitiveness.

In developing the proposed rule, APHIS carefully considered comments received during public scoping and comment periods related to withdrawal of a 2008 proposed rule, as well as comments relative to a March 2016 notice of intent to conduct a programmatic environmental impact statement, recommendations made in two Office of the Inspector General audits, recent advances in biotechnology, provisions in the 2008 Farm Bill, and the Agency’s accumulated experience in implementing the current regulations. This would be the first comprehensive revision of the regulations since they were established in 1987.

APHIS is proposing a regulatory program in which it first assesses GE organisms to determine if they pose plant pest or noxious weed risks. If APHIS concludes that a GE organism does not pose a plant pest or noxious weed risk, then APHIS would not require a permit for the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release (outdoor use) of the GE organism. On the other hand, if APHIS determines, based on risk analysis that controls on movement are needed, APHIS will work with the requestor to establish appropriate permit conditions to manage identified risks to allow safe movement. "Movement" means import, interstate movement, or environmental release (regulated controlled outdoor use such as in field trials).

GE plants that are not engineered with plant pest sequences do not fall under USDA's current regulations even though they may pose noxious weed risks. USDA is proposing to implement the noxious weed authority to close this gap.

The goals for the proposed revisions are to ensure a high level of plant health protection based on the best available science; improve regulatory processes so that they are more transparent, efficient, and predictable for stakeholders and the public; and provide regulatory relief that will stimulate innovation and competitiveness.

APHIS’ proposed rule will be available for public review and comments will be accepted for 120 days beginning January 19, 2017, through May 19, 2017. After the public comment period closes, APHIS will decide how or whether to finalize the regulations based on our evaluation of public comments to the proposed revisions. Additionally, a draft programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will be made available and published for public comment soon, for stakeholder input. USDA also intends to have public meetings on the proposed rule during the comment period.

The associated documents and any updates can be viewed on the Biotechnology Regulatory Services News Webpage. 


2017-01-18: USDA Announces Deregulation of GE Creeping Bentgrass


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announces today the deregulation to The Scotts Company’s and Monsanto Company’s creeping bentgrass genetically engineered (GE) for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate. This notice also announces the availability of our Record of Decision (ROD) for the published Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The ROD describes the alternatives considered and documents APHIS’ decision to deregulate based on a thorough review of the potential environmental impacts in accordance with the agency’s National Environmental Policy Act implementing regulations, and its plant pest authority under the Plant Protection Act. APHIS concluded in its Final Plant Pest Risk Assessment (PPRA) that this variety of creeping bentgrass is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk to agricultural crops or other plants in the United States.

Notice of this determination will be published in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017. A copy of the petition, record of decision for the final EIS, final PPRA, final regulatory decision, and supporting documents can be found on the News and Information page of the BRS website. 

2017-01-13: Invasive Species Could Cost Washington State's Businesses & Agencies $1.3 Billion per year

News Release from Washington State Conservation Office:


OLYMPIA – A new report released today pegs the economic impact of 23 of the most damaging invasive species in Washington at $1.3 billion a year and a loss of 8,000 jobs, if there’s no prevention, according to the Washington Invasive Species Council.
“Invasive species are plants and animals not native to Washington, and once they land here, they out-compete existing wildlife,” said Justin Bush, executive coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council. “They can wipe out crops, clog waterways, damage pipes and dams and completely change the landscape and the wildlife that live there. Left unchecked, invasive species can ring up huge costs for control, kill jobs and harm our economy."
While there are more than 200 known invasive species found in or near Washington state, the economic analysis highlights the damages and potential impacts that could result if 23 of these species were allowed to spread in Washington in a single year.

Following are the total potential economic impacts of 23 invasive species on Washington’s industries:


Cropland has the potential to be quickly infested by invasive plants, which require resources to control, and by invasive animals, which are looking for fruits and vegetables to eat. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species on crops grown in Washington is estimated to be more than $589 million a year and 4,400 jobs lost.


Many invasive species have the ability to severely impact Washington’s$1.68 billion timber and logging industry. Invasive noxious weed species such as Scotch broom can outcompete new saplings, which harms future timber harvests. Insect species such as gypsy moth have a more immediate impact on forests by defoliating and stressing adult trees, resulting in their death. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species on the timber industry is estimated to be $297 million and 1,300 jobs lost.


Invasive noxious weeds in pastures and rangeland displace native plants eaten by livestock. In some cases, these plants also are poisonous to livestock and horses and can cause life-threatening ailments. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species on the livestock industry is estimated to be more than $282 million annually and 1,500 jobs lost.


Recreational activities such as hunting, fishing and boating can all be adversely affected by invasive species. Many of the same species that impact a rancher’s ability to range their cattle also reduce elk and deer populations. Invasive species in the water hamper fish populations and can reduce access to popular fishing areas. Other water species can clog boat motors and render public boat launches unusable. The total economic impact of the selected 23 invasive species to recreational activities is estimated to be more than $47 million a year and 500 jobs lost.

Water Facilities

Water facilities such as dams and irrigation systems can be devastated by aquatic invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and quagga and zebra mussels. If invasive species are introduced to a facility, costly mitigation and maintenance systems must be installed for the facility to function. The total economic impact to water facilities from quagga and zebra mussels is estimated to be more than $100 million and 500 jobs lost.

The Worst Offenders

Rush skeletonweed, Scotch broom, apple maggot and zebra and quagga mussels are the most costly of the selected invasive species in Washington with an estimated total impact of more than $927 million and more than 5,140 jobs lost, the report concluded.

“Invasive species, including noxious weeds, affect all of us in Washington,” says Alison Halpern, the executive secretary of the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board. “Many people have probably seen Scotch broom take over a vacant lot, knapweeds crowd out rangeland plants or Eurasian milfoil plug up a lake and make it hard to swim or boat. It’s important to understand that not only are they reducing native plant diversity and degrading important habitat, but they also can really hurt businesses that rely on Washington’s natural resources.”

Invasive species rapidly colonize new areas, displacing native species. Nationally, the impacts of invasive species and control efforts cost more than $137 billion annually but information on the specific costs of these impacts to Washington has been lacking.

To address the lack of information, the Washington Department of Agriculture, Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board and the Washington Invasive Species Council partnered with five other state agencies (Departments of Ecology, Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources and Transportation, and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission) to hire Seattle-based Community Attributes Inc. to quantify the impact of 23 of the most damaging invasive species in Washington. The analysis gathered information on crops, livestock, timber and recreation such as hunting, fishing and boating.

“This economic damage can be reduced or even prevented by controlling noxious weeds, reporting invasive species, choosing non-invasive plants, never releasing unwanted pets into the wild and cleaning recreational equipment before and after use,” Bush said. “We all must do our part to prevent the introduction of invasive species to Washington state. With this amount of revenue and jobs on the line, we can’t afford to ignore this important issue.

“As this report makes clear, invasive species can devastate the economy, in addition to our state’s environment,” said Jim Marra, pest program manager for the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “This is all the more reason for our agency and our partners to continue the invaluable work of preventing the introduction of invasive species to protect the state’s agricultural, environmental and other natural resources.”

Further information

Read the full economic analysis.
Read a one-page fact sheet explaining the findings.
To report sightings of invasive species, download the Washington Invasive Species Council’s app or use the online form found
Visit the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board’s Web page to request free publications about noxious weeds.
Visit Washington Department of Agriculture’s Pest Program Web page to learn more about some of the plant and insect pests that threaten agriculture.
Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Aquatic Invasive Species Web page to learn more about aquatic invasive species that threaten hunting, fishing, recreation, and water facilities.
Visit the Department of Ecology’s Web site to learn more about aquatic plants and lakes, including aquatic weed control permits, and management grants.


2017-01-11: Creeping Bentgrass that Escaped Defies Eradication, Divides Grass Seed Industry

The Oregonian, Jan. 8th, 2017


After more than a decade of unsuccessful efforts to eradicate the genetically modified grass it created and allowed to escape, lawn and garden giant Scotts Miracle-Gro now wants to step back and shift the burden to Oregonians.


The federal government is poised to allow that to happen by relinquishing its oversight, even as an unlikely coalition of farmers, seed dealers, environmentalists, scientists and regulators cry foul.


Full story:


2017-10-11: Rescinding the invitation to publish in Natural Resources Journal

Thanks to Rosalind James for the following information:


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I received a warning with regard to this journal solicitation that went out earlier on this Listsev.  The publisher of the journal (SCIRP of Wuhan, China) is suspect.  The Wikipedia entry reads as follows:

Scientific Research Publishing (SCIRP) is an academic publisher of peer-reviewed open-accesselectronic journalsconference proceedings, and scientific anthologies.[1] As of December 2014, it offers 244[2] English language open access journals in the areas of science, technology, business, economy, and medicine.

The company has been accused of being a predatory open access publisher and of using email spam to solicit papers for submission.[1] In 2014 there was a mass resignation of the editorial board of one of the company's journals, with the outgoing Editor-in-Chief saying of the publisher "For them it was only about making money. We were simply their 'front'."[3]

.... SCIRP generated controversy in 2010 when it was found that its journals duplicated papers which had already been published elsewhere, without notification of or permission from the original author and of the copyright holder.[6] Several of these publications have subsequently been retracted.[7] Some of the journals had listed academics on their editorial boards without their permission or even knowledge, sometimes in fields very different from their own.[5] In 2012, one of its journals, Advances in Pure Mathematics, accepted a paper written by a random text generator. The paper was not published, but only due to its author's unwillingness to pay the publication fee.[8]


2017-01-10: Japanese Stiltgrass Studies

from Marc Imlay, MNCPPC:


I participated in a conference call on invasive species with one item on the agenda to update the economic impact of invasive species. There are many kinds of economic impact besides the cost of removing invasives. For example, the economic cost of stormwater damage caused by invasive species.  Many studies have shown that Japanese Stiltgrass doubles the amount of nitrogen and storm water released into the Chesapeake Bay. The primary reason is that the tiny root system replaces the complex root system with a variety of niches that are necessary to hold water and release it slowly.  This argument could be used in general for other non-native invasive species replacing a complex of many native species with different root systems of different depths etc. In our region the surface of Japanese Stiltgrass has expanded typically to now cover over 20% of the habitat.


Does anyone have a cost update for the economic cost of stormwater damage caused by invasive species. Thanks.



Conservation biologist, Park Ranger Office, Non-native Invasive Plant Control coordinator. 

(301) 442-5657 cell,
Natural and Historical Resources Division
The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission


Subject: RE: Siltgrass and hydrology


Joan Ehrenfeld, et al. Changes in Soil Functions Following Invasions of Exotic Understory Plants in Deciduous Forests. Ecological Applications 11(5), 2001, pp. 1287-1300 (Ecological Society of America) 


P. S. Kourtev, et al.  Differences in Earthworm Densities and Nitrogen Dynamics in soils under Exotic and Native Plant Species. Biological Invasions 1: 237-245, 1999


Some findings I noted in the papers:


pH elevated from 4.5-4.8 (Vaccinium) to 5.5-6.5 (stilt grass) in two parks in New Jersey. Nitrification rates and Extractable NO3 were also much higher with Microstegium. Very low root biomass, loss of organic soil horizon and great increase in (European) earthworms.


(increased from 30-280 worms/m2). Litter was reduced by two thirds.



2017-01-09: Open-source plant database confirms top US bioenergy crop


From Russ Jones, EPA:


ScienceDaily: Endangered Plants News

Scientists have confirmed that Miscanthus, long speculated to be the top biofuel producer, yields more than twice as much biofuel as switchgrass in the US using an open-source bioenergy crop database gaining traction in plant science, climate change, and ecology research.


2017-01-09: Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology


Release of Final Version of 2017 Update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology

 On January 4, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the2017 Update to the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology and accompanying National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products.

This update represents the first time in 30 years that the Federal government has produced a comprehensive summary of the roles and responsibilities of the three principal regulatory agencies with respect to regulating biotechnology products. More information about this initiative is available on the EOP Website.


2016-01-09: American Innovation and Competitiveness Act


From Citizen Science Listserv FCPCCS:

On January 6th, the President signed into law the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, which grants broad authority for conducting crowdsourcing and citizen science projects.

From Title IV, Section 402: It is the sense of Congress that "…(2) crowdsourcing and citizen science projects have a number of additional unique benefits, including accelerating scientific research, increasing cost effectiveness to maximize the return on taxpayer dollars, addressing societal needs, providing hands-on learning in STEM, and connecting members of the public directly to Federal science agency missions and to each other."  Read the full legislation here.

Beyond providing the explicit authority to conduct crowdsourcing and citizen science projects, the new law grants agencies the ability to:

·       accept volunteer services;

·       partner broadly with the private sector and other government entities;

·       use appropriated funds and solicit outside funds and in-kind services;

·       and perform other functions to carry out these projects.

Agencies are also encouraged to designate citizen science coordinators and share best practices with other Federal agencies, including participation in the Federal Community of Practice for Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science.

In addition, the new legislation directs the General Services Administration (GSA) to play a key role in enhancing the ability of agencies to carry out these projects.  The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is also mandated to provide a report every two years on the projects conducted under this authority, which will be an excellent tool in highlighting the value of citizen science and crowdsourcing.



UPDATE 2017-01-11: We have been advised that SCIRP is a suspected 'predatory journal' (see Wikipedia) and advise readers NOT to respond to the previously-sent invitation:

2017-01-05: Natural Resources journal's special issue on exotic species


Submission Deadline: April 10th, 2017

The Natural Resources (NR, ISSN Online: 2158-7086), a peer-reviewed open-access journal, is seeking papers for the upcoming special issue on "Exotic Species". We would like to invite you to submit or recommend original research papers to this issue through our Paper Submission System.

Aims & Scope (not limited to the following fields)

• Introduced species (plants, animals, fungi or microorganisms)

• Invasive exotic diseases

• Impact of introduced species

• Control of introduced species

• Introduced species policy

Prof. Miklas Scholz (The University of Salford, UK)
NR Editorial Office

2016:12-28: EU Commission adopts a list of invasive alien species of concern


Thanks to Terri Hogan, FICMNEW cochair for this post:

In July, the European Commission took an important step towards halting biodiversity loss by adopting a list of invasive alien species of concern. The commission prepared the list using risk assessments, stakeholders were consulted, the World Trade Organization reviewed the list, and the list was submitted to the EU's Invasive Alien Species Committee for approval. For more information on the process, go the the European Commission's Nature and Biodiversity link ( The pdf of the list can be accessed at the link below.


2016-12-20: APHIS Posts New Weed Risk Assessments 


APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) has posted Weed Risk Assessments (WRA) for the following three weed species:


Bunias erucago (Southern warty cabbage)


Coleostephus myconis (Mediterranean marigold)


Euphorbia falcata (sickle spurge)


The purpose of a WRA is to evaluate the likelihood that a weed species will escape, naturalize, and spread in the United States, and harm U.S. natural and agricultural resources. PPQ prepares a WRA when:


  • A species shows some threat potential in the United States or abroad;

  • Someone requests to import a species that is either new to the United States, or if present, not widely distributed and poses a potential threat; or

  • A stakeholder submits a request to APHIS to add a species to the Federal Noxious Weed List.


Stakeholders can use WRA’s to support their own management or policy decisions as needed. To view or print these or other assessments, visit APHIS’ Noxious Weeds Program Risk Assessments Web page. We welcome your questions or comments about the WRAs via email at


2016-12-06: US EPA FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel Meeting: 13-16 Dec 2016

Thank you to Russell Jones for this announcement:


The US EPA FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel will meet December 13-16, 2016 to consider and review scientific issues regarding EPA's evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate. The meeting will be held at the Environmental Protection Agency, Conference Center, Lobby Level, One Potomac Yard (South Bldg.), 2777 S. Crystal Dr., Arlington, VA 22202.

All meeting materials (e.g., charge questions, background document, agenda, and all other EPA materials) are available in the docket, EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0385 (see

This meeting will be accessible thru a live online webcast. The live webcast will enable interested persons to listen to the entire public meeting and to view the PowerPoint presentations displayed at the meeting. To participate in the live webcast, please click on the link below to access the webcast instructions. The webcast link will not be active until 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting. You must use a PC and Internet Explorer as your browser.

Link to webcast Instructions:

Please note that the webcast is a supplementary public process provided only for convenience. If difficulties arise resulting in webcasting outages, the meeting will continue as planned.

Additional general information concerning the meeting, including the webcast information, is posted on the SAP website,


2016-12-05: A New Invasive Species Executive Order – Safeguarding the Nation from the Impacts of Invasive Species

Thanks to Hilary Smith, Rosalind James, and Hilda Diaz-Soltero for the following:

Executive Order -- anticipated to be EO 13751 -- (Dec 5, 2016)

The White House (President Barack Obama). Office of the Press Secretary.

This order amends Executive Order 13112 and directs actions to continue coordinated Federal prevention and control efforts related to invasive species. This order maintains the National Invasive Species Council (Council) and the Invasive Species Advisory Committee; expands the membership of the Council; clarifies the operations of the Council; incorporates considerations of human and environmental health, climate change, technological innovation, and other emerging priorities into Federal efforts to address invasive species; and strengthens coordinated, cost-efficient Federal action.

2016-11-28: Link to The Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan


The following includes a link to the the recently released science plan to set a way forward to restore and conserve sagebrush steppe habitat in Western North America How to Save the Sagebrush Sea

The Forest Service and USGS jointly released a new science plan that provides a road map for determining how to best restore and conserve North America's "sagebrush sea," a 500,000 square mile area of sagebrush steppe habitat across Western North America.

2016-11-28: Weed science job positions available in Raleigh NC

From Tony Koop, APHIS-PPQ:


Our risk assessment lab in Raleigh, NC is currently looking for additional risk analysts in the fields of entomology, pathology and weed science (9 positions). In particular we need another botanist/plant ecologist/weed scientist to help out with the weed risk assessment work. Unfortunately the position description had to be written very broadly and would likely be missed by most folks looking for jobs in the invasive plant/weed world. Please pass this along if you know anyone who is interested.


2016-11-18: Registration open for the USDA Interagency Research Forum on Invasive Species

From USFS' Mike McManus:

The agenda is now posted for the USDA Interagency Research Forum on Invasive Species on January 10 - 13, 2017, in Annapolis, Maryland. This annual meeting began in 1990 as the "USDA Interagency Gypsy Moth Research Forum," but now includes broader topics such as:

  • Invasive Plants and Their Impacts

  • Gypsy Moth Research

  • Risk Assessment for Invasive Species

  • Exotic Wood Boring Insects

  • Biological Control

  • Alien Forest Pathogens

  • International Forest Insects and Disease Reports

Links to the registration site, lodging, local transportation, and poster abstract guidelines can be found at the meeting website :

Poster titles must be submitted online at  

2016-11-18: Invasive Weeds and the 6th Extinction


It's been a tough Season for those of us trying to control Japanese Stilt Grass especially where there is a source from contiguous land. We are waiting for an effective, host specific, biological control to avoid the 6th extinction in the loss of our native plants and butterflies over most of our landscape. Fortunately, there is some positive research on biological control methods in the pipeline including a mealy bug as well as native blights.

The good news is now that Fall is here, we can successfully control the other non-native invasive species including garlic mustard, Lesser Celandine, and Japanese honeysuckle up in the trees.  Click here to find a group.

Thank you!

Marc Imlay, PhD

Chair of the Biodiversity and Habitat Stewardship Committee, Sierra Club Maryland Chapter


2016-11-18: EPA has implemented stronger protections for pesticide application workers

The Environmental Protection Agency has implemented stronger protections for the nation’s two million agricultural workers and their families working on farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses. These revisions to the 1992 Agricultural Worker Protection Standard will afford farmworkers similar health protections that are already afforded to workers in other industries.

A summary of the changes is available here:


The revised worker protection standard is available here.

These revisions will be discussed during our FICMNEW meeting on 30-Nov, 2:30-4PM ET.

  2016-11-17: U.S. Department of Agriculture posts its annual "Do Not Harm" Report 

The USDA has published the fifteenth “USDA Do No Harm Report” to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee and the National Invasive Species Council.  It covers the FY 2016 activities for ARS/NAL, APHIS, FAS, NIFA, ERS, USFS and NRCS. The report is dated November 16, 2016, and is available here: USDA Do No Harm Report FY16 FINAL 16 Nov 2016.pdf.

2016-11-15: NPS Staff Recognized at California Invasive Plant Council Meeting

 At the beginning of November, researchers and land managers met at Tenaya Lodge outside  Yosemite NP to discuss all aspects of invasive plant management  at the 25th Annual Cal-IPC Symposium. The California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) brings together individuals from federal and state land management agencies, universities, and non-profit organizations to protect California’s lands and waters from invasive plants through science, education, and policy.

This year’s annual meeting also celebrated the NPS Centennial, and was well represented by NPS staff and partners. The four-day event began with a thoughtful introduction from Garrett Dickman from Yosemite National Park, and Jay Goldsmith from the Pacific West Region closed the meeting with a look ahead to the next 25 years. One plenary session included Dr. Jan van Wagtendonk, research scientist emeritus at Yosemite National Park, who provided a historical view of NPS management of invasive species, highlighting the growing emphasis on prioritization and application of scientific research. And Terri Hogan, the head of the WASO Invasive Plant Program, presented a brief history of invasive plant management in the NPS, current management efforts, and her perspective on what’s coming soon for NPS invasive plant management. In addition to these speakers, other posters and presentations were sprinkled throughout the annual meeting, and there was even a field trip to Yosemite National Park. 

Three NPS employees also earned awards from Cal-IPC:

Athena Demetry received the Golden Weed Wrench award. Each year, this honor goes to the Land Manager of the Year. Athena was nominated for her work as a restoration ecologist at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. She now leads the branch of Vegetation and Ecological Restoration at Yosemite National Park.

Jay Goldsmith earned the Jake Sigg Award, which recognizes exceptional vision and dedicated service to wildland stewardship over the course of an individual’s career. Goldsmith is the Chief of Natural Resources and Science for the Pacific West Region, and he has worked tirelessly to keep invasive species management an NPS priority. 

 Rich Thiel accepted the Weedzilla award. This title is bestowed upon the “best NPS practitioner within the California NPS served by the CaEPMT.” Rich has worked with Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks since 1990, including work on invasive species since 2001. Most notably, Rich leads a wilderness velvet grass project at Kern Canyon.                                              

Congratulations to all three, and thank you for your hard work managing invasive plants!

NPS staff continually make significant contributions to the field of invasive plant management in California and all over the Service. This symposium was an excellent demonstration of the thoughtful application of science to management issues that goes on in parks all of the time. Managing invasive plant species is challenging and complex, which is why it’s so important to continue events like these, to share knowledge and experience for regional improvement.

2016-11-10: A Tribute to Rita Beard

From the website of the NPS: Exotic Plant Management Teams and the Integrated Pest Management Program, posted by Kristy Burnett

Rita Beard

Rita Beard, a luminary in the federal and private sector of the invasive species world, passed away in October at her home in Fort Collins, CO. Throughout her career, Rita advanced her vision of coordinating invasive species management on a national scope. By encouraging collaboration from the field to congressional levels, she effectively changed the way invasive species are managed in this country. In addition, she worked to make sure that all invasive species management decisions were based on the latest and best available research and technology, thus ensuring that management decisions were supported by science. Towards that end, Rita spearheaded the development of the original mapping standards for the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA), which unified management practices to help ensure consistent data collection.

Rita’s academic background served her well: she received her bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Biosystematics from the University of California at Berkeley, followed by two Master of Science degrees; in Range and Wildlife Science from Montana State University, and in Forest and Public Policy from Oregon State University. She began her career in the late 1970s as the Range Conservationist and Invasive Plant Specialist, with the U.S. Forest Service on the Townsend Ranger District in western Montana. During this time, Rita made history by preparing the first Environmental Impact Statement on invasive plants in the United States, pioneering the use of herbicides to control invasive plants in wilderness areas.

In April 2005, she joined the National Park Service (NPS) as the National Invasive Plant Management Program Coordinator. At NPS she supervised 18 Exotic Plant Management Teams (EPMTs) and guided the development of policies related to invasive plant management and prevention. She professionalized this program by raising the level of technical expertise through training for her staff, communicating the importance of invasive plant management to NPS leadership, and increased the amount of funding available for weed management. She guided each EPMT team in working with their partner parks to develop proposed invasive plant management strategies for the protection of park resources in accordance with federal laws. Rita was a constant advocate for the EPMT program, its staff, and its mission to assist the parks with invasive plant management.

Rita’s depth of knowledge and experience made her an invaluable partner of the NPS Integrated Pest Management Program. She provided toxicological guidance on the selection and toxicology of herbicides as part of the IPM approach and helped train IPM practitioners in site evaluation, the proper selection and consequences of herbicides and related NEPA concerns, of which she was an expert.  Rita also provided assistance to the NPS Cultural Landscape and the Facilities Management Programs in invasive plant management and restoration planning.  

On the national level, Rita was an effective liaison for local weed management partners, federal and nonfederal agencies, Congress, and others in Washington, D.C., ensuring that management decisions were based on science and core natural resource values.  She served on several Departmental committees, including the National Invasive Species Council and the Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds promoting the practical application of weed science principles and practices for invasive plant management.

Rita retired from the NPS in 2013 and continued to provide training and technical expertise to her partners.  In 2014, Rita received the Western Society of Weed Science’s Distinguished Achievement Award in the category of “Weed Manager” for her tireless efforts in advancing the cause of invasive plant management across the entire country.  

Throughout her career Rita never lost sight of the challenges that on-the- ground managers face in controlling invasive plants.  She understood the constraints of working in the federal system, and her goal was always to garner as much support as possible for on-ground managers, hence she worked to ensure that leadership understood and supported this cause.  We honor Rita Beard, who exemplified the qualities of a rare colleague and complete person: grace, kindness, composure, intelligence, fearlessness, poise, and to be deliberate, unassuming, truthful, and loving.


Comment from La Donna Carlisle, BIA:

Thank you for sharing this piece on Rita. I remember first meeting her at a meeting for the Society of Range Management when the first discussions began with the Sage Grouse.  She and Gordon Brown were part of the collaborators to host the function and a few months later, I met them once again at NISC.  From that point on, I became fully involved with the FICMNEWfamily as the BIA representative.

I will truly miss Rita, because she was a true inspiration for fighting for the field people who dealt with the consuming job of treating invasive species. She was a great friend and colleague who will be missed, but has left a great legacy behind.

Sincerely, La Donna

La Donna L. Carlisle
Hopi Agency Natural Resources Specialist 

2016-10-25: (Weed) Pulling for Bats – It's Bat Week!


Gentle reminder: it's Bat Week! Invasive plant pulls are scheduled nationwide to promote native plants, beneficial insects, and healthy bat populations.

A list of invasive plant pulls can be found here:

Invasive plant fact sheets and wanted posters can be found here:

Here is a great Bat Week infographic from a Canadian partner:

We hope you all get out there and Pull (invasive plants) for Bats!


2016-10-20: USDA FY17 Grants Workbook

USDA Grants Workbook FY 2017 FINAL 17 Oct 2016.pdf

Attached above please find the USDA Grants FY17 workbook document.  It contains millions of dollars available to our stakeholders to use on invasive species issues of mutual interest.  Please share it widely among your contacts.

Thank you.

Hilda Diaz-Soltero
USDA Senior Invasive Species Coordinator


2016-10-17: Invasive species management world's loss of a great person: Rita Beard


I am sorry to be writing to you to share the sad news of Rita Beard's passing. Those of us who knew Rita and had the honor of working with her in any capacity know what a great loss this is for all of us. She was an iconic figure in the weed world devoting time to the USFS and the NPS as well as working on issues related to invasive species at the national level. Rita was responsible for the oversight of invasive species management issues within the NPS for many years including ensuring a robust and successful EPMT program. She was also an integral part of a dynamic FICMNEW in its early days.

We will miss her greatly and honor her years of service and lasting legacy.

As more information becomes available, I will share it.

Terri Hogan, Invasive Plant Program Manager

Landscape Restoration & Adaptation
Biological Resources Division
Natural Resource Stewardship and Science
1201 Oakridge Dr, Suite 200
Fort Collins, CO 80525

2016-10-11: APHIS to announce completed WRAs through its stakeholder registry notice

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture routinely conducts weed risk assessments (WRAs) as part of its ongoing mission to protect US plant resources. A weed risk assessment is a science-based evaluation of the potential of a plant species to establish, spread, and cause harm inagricultural and natural systems. We post completed WRAs on our website for transparency, but also so that stakeholders may use them as resources in their own programs and activities. To access these WRAs, please visit our website.

You may sign up with the APHIS Stakeholder Registry to receive messages when we complete and post new WRAs to our website. The Registry allows anyone who can access the Internet, anywhere in the world, to subscribe to topics we provide that are of interest to them.  To subscribe, click here.  You can receive either text messages or emails per your choosing.  You will be presented with topics and you should select those that are of interest. PPQ has added short descriptions to most of our topics summarizing the kind of information that we post to that topic. For information about weed risk assessments, select any or all of the following topics:  Federally Regulated (Noxious Weeds)Plants for PlantingRisk Analyses and Assessments (PRAs).  You can unsubscribe or change your selections at any time by returning to the subscription screen, or clicking on the link provided in the footer of messages you will receive.

Anthony L. Koop (Plant Ecologist)


2016-10-04: New Play Clean Go videos available

The Wyoming Weed and Pest Council (WWPC) has recently teamed up with the talented folks at Orijin Media<> to develop 4 short Play Clean Go videos.  The goal is to reach out to various recreational groups with the call to action - Play Clean Go.  User groups that have been identified for the project include trail runners, mountain bikers, ATV/motocross users and horseback groups.

The inspiration for the videos comes from the 2015 award winning video "Where the West Begins"<>.  Produced in just 6 days by the Orijin team for the 1% For the Tetons video blitz, in partnership with the Snake River Fund, the video focuses on aquatic invasive species in the Greater Yellowstone Area. While the WWPC is paying for the development of the videos, they are by no means meant to be Wyoming-specific videos.  The hope is that they will be shared far and wide.  They should be ready to go with no additional edits necessary, however if PCG partners/friends would like to add their own logos to the end of the videos, Orijin Media will be available to make small changes to the credits at their normal rates. Making for an inexpensive way for all to customize the videos if they so choose.  Once you see the videos (below), contact Zach at Orijin if you'd like to discuss options for modifying to add local website/contact information to the end. Zach Montes: 206-200-1356

View & Download the videos:
Trail Running:
Mountain Biking:


Erika Edmiston
Chair: WY Weed & Pest Council Education Committee
Supervisor: Teton County Weed & Pest District
7575 So. Highway 89
Jackson, WY 83001


2016-10-04: NISC Secretariat announces Senior Scientific and Technical Analyst position

deadline Oct-12

Linked below is the job announcement for the Senior Scientific and Technical Analyst position within the National Invasive Species Council Secretariat. The deadline to apply is 10/13/2016.


Please direct questions to Jamie Reaser,


2016-09-30: USDA Invites Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Genetically Engineered Creeping Bentgrass 


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is making available a draft environmental impact statement (dEIS) and preliminary plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) as part of its review of a petition to deregulate creeping bentgrass genetically engineered (GE) for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate. The petition was submitted by The Scotts Company and Monsanto Company.


The dEIS and preliminary PPRA will be available for a 45-day public comment period upon publication in the Federal Register. APHIS will finalize the dEIS and preliminary PPRA after carefully considering public comments and before making a final regulatory determination and issuing a Record of Decision.


The dEIS and associated documents are available on the News and Information page of the BRS Website. Comments can be submitted from September 30, 2016, to November 14, 2016, at


2016-09-28: The Invasive Species Innovation Summit



Overcoming the Invasive Species Challenge 

We are convening a major gathering of leading scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs to solve seemingly intractable problems – problems that leave us vulnerable to the adverse impacts of invasive species. Invasive species are non-native organisms that adversely impact the environment, economy, infrastructure, cultural resources and identity, and/or human and animal health. They are estimated to cost the U. S. nearly $200 billion annually. Together, we will celebrate new opportunities to prevent, eradicate, and control invasive species, as well as identify the next big scientific and technical challenges to be overcome.

  • How do we prevent the spread of Zika virus and its vectors?

  • How do we eradicate rodents from human-inhabited islands?

  • How do we stop the devastation and spread of lionfish?

  • How do we overcome cheatgrass dominance and restore sagebrush ecosystems?

  • How do we keep Bsal from entering the US?

The day-long event will feature presentations by leading innovators in invasive species research and technology development. In addition, the Summit will offer opportunities for professional networking between those in need and those in the know. Most importantly, the Summit will make it feasible for participants to further innovate, sponsor, and apply practical knowledge and tools that will make a difference. And, it won’t stop there, as soon as the day concludes, the Summit’s “Going Beyond” team will begin to strategically move Summit outcomes into highly influential scientific, technical, and policy frameworks.


 Are you an innovator? Join us.        


Monday, December 5, 2016


National Museum of the American Indian

4th Street & Independence Av. SW, Washington DC




Deadline for Registration is November 25th.

Deadline for submissions is October 7th.


Smithsonian Institution

National Invasive Species Council Secretariat

Island Conservation

Conservation X Labs

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force


2016-09-21: FHWA Announces Update to WFL Roadside Revegetation Handbook

From FICMNEW FHWA principal Mary Ann Rondinella:

The Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) has updated the Western Federal Lands Roadside Revegetation Handbook – expanding it for a nationwide audience including State Departments of Transportation and other transportation agencies. The next version is already in the works and is expected to be released some time next year. It will be an even more robust update with a companion native workhorse plant selector tool.


Invasive Plants in Our Changing World: Learn from the Past, Prepare for the Future 

Presented by the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Student Union, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 

The 8th biennial conference features national, regional, and local experts as well as citizen volunteers sharing practical solutions for invasive plant management and actions needed to promote native species and improve wildlife habitat.  The symposium is open to the public and will include introductory information about invasive plants.  People with all levels of interest and experience are invited to attend.  Research and management posters, an invasive plant identification area, and other educational exhibits will be featured throughout the day.  The registration fee includes parking and lunch.  Pesticide Recertification Credits and other continuing education credits (CEU’s) will be available. 

Attendees are advised to register early, as the last symposium had record attendance and sold out in advance with 500 attendees.


$50 – EARLY postmarked or online by September 12

$60 – REGULAR postmarked/online after September 12; 

$25 – STUDENT (must bring current ID)

The symposium agenda, online registration, and mail-in registration form are available at 

For additional information, please contact Donna Ellis at 860-486-6448;


2016-09-09: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issues Record of Decision (ROD) for Vegetation Treatments Using Aminopyralid, Fluroxypyr, and Rimsulfuron on BLM Lands in 17 Western States




We at the BLM are writing today to let you know that the BLM has issued the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PEIS) approving the use of three new herbicides for vegetation management that are of low risk to the environment and human health.  The decision is to add aminopyralid (milestone), fluroxypyr (vista), and rimsulfuron (matrix) to the BLM’s list of approved active ingredients for use on public lands, increasing the list from 18 to 21. The additional active ingredients provide the BLM with a more effective set of tools to address wildfire protection and habitat restoration, and to reduce the threat of noxious weeds, invasive species, and hazardous fuels on public lands. The ROD identifies best management practices, standard operating procedures, and mitigation measures for all vegetation treatment projects involving the use of herbicides.

The Final PEIS includes pertinent information from the biological assessment regarding potential effects to plant and animal species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, or proposed for listing, and their critical habitats.  The National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service both agree that the three additional active ingredients are not likely to adversely affect listed species or critical habitat.

Comment responses and resultant changes in the impact analysis are documented in the Final PEIS. The Federal Register Notice of Availability of the ROD, a copy of the ROD, and the Final PEIS are accessible at If you have any questions, please contact Gina Ramos at 202-912-7226.


Gina Ramos, Senior Weeds Specialist

Bureau of Land Management 


2016-09-02: USGS to hire an Invasive Species Program Manager at HQ in Reston, VA

USGS is pleased to announce a vacancy for a Program Manager in the USGS Invasive Species Program (General Biologist, GS-14).  Duty station is at USGS HQ in Reston, VA, and the position is in the Office of the Associate Director for Ecosystems. The vacancy closes on September 23.

Scientists funded by the USGS Invasive Species Program work closely with sister DOI bureaus, other federal agencies, states, non-governmental groups, and others to provide data and scientific information to meet management needs. USGS invasive species research encompasses all significant groups of invasive organisms in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in all regions of the country.  Our partners look to us to help solve complex problems regarding invasive species management. The incumbent for this position will work with the Program Coordinator to manage this diverse and cutting edge research program. 

As the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collects, monitors, analyzes, and provides scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems. The diversity of our scientific expertise enables us to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial, timely, and relevant scientific information to resource managers, planners, and other customers related to: the health of our ecosystems and environment; natural hazards that threaten us; natural resources we rely on, and; the impact of climate and land-use changes. For more information about the USGS please visit

Some duties of the position include: 

  • Serves as technical staff expert on invasive species in the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area.

  • Leads USGS invasive species activities across Ecosystems Mission Area in collaboration with the Department and other agencies and organizations; coordinates with other mission areas and represents USGS at intra-agency meetings.

  • Develops and evaluates national science program strategies and activities in collaboration with other agencies and organizations to address invasive species issues.

  • Prepares materials and communications to explain, support, advocate and defend invasive species research in the USGS, the Department, the Office of Management and Budget, other agencies and organizations, and before Congressional staff and committees.

  • Manages and tracks the invasive species budget, develops budget justifications and initiatives,establishes funding priorities, and ensures consistency with Ecosystem Mission Area goals.

Merit Promotion:

DEU (Open to all U.S. citizens):


2016-08-31: ITAP meeting Agenda and poll about October FICMNEW meeting

FICMNEW Feds and FIMNEW friends:


Attached is the agenda for the next meeting of the Invasive Terrestrial Animals And Pathogens Interagency Working Group, taking place on October 26th from 10 AM-noon, ET.

This date being the last Wednesday of the month, FICMNEW would normally meet the same day from 1-2:30 for feds, 2:30-4 PM ET for open meeting/presentation.

Do we want to: 

     1) meet the same day as ITAP and conflict with some of the afternoon working groups? 

     2) change our October meeting date (I would poll the FICMNEW listserve participants for the best alternate day/time)?

     3) cancel our October meeting?

Please vote 1, 2, or 3 by emailing putting FICMNEW October as the email's subject line. (Yes, I get a lot of email.)

Terri Hogan and I will make a decision on Friday September 9th and let you know the results.

Thank you for your support of FICMNEW and the work and educational sessions we carry out together,

Annie Simpson, FICMNEW cochair 

(Agenda updated 01-Sep)


2016-08-29: NISC Co-Chairs' Call to Action and NISC Secretariat's new What Matters blog

Dear Colleagues:

The National Invasive Species Council is exited to announce the release of the 2016-2018 NISC Management Plan! The document is available for viewing and downloading on the new NISC website: Direct link:

In conjunction with the release of the NISC Management Plan, the NISC Co-Chairs have issued a Call to Action - the first post of many that will become available on the NISC Secretariat's What Matters blog. The Call to Action is available at:

Feel free to share the NISC Management Plan and the Call to Action widely. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the Plan's development and are looking forward to working on implementation with Federal agencies and our non-Federal partners.

All the best,

Jamie K. Reaser, PhD
Executive Director
National Invasive Species Council (NISC) Secretariat
US Department of the Interior
Office of the Secretary
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20540
Phone: (1) 202.208.4113

Upcoming Webinars about the PLANTS database

If you are interested in learning more than you already know about the NRCS PLANTS database (, you may find the following WebInars to be of interest:

Wednesday, August 31, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern — An Overview of NRCS’s PLANTS Database and Website presented by Gerry Moore, Ph.D., Leader, National Plant Data Team, USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center, Greensboro, NC. 
Participate to learn the basics of the National Plant Data Team’s PLANTS database and website

Wednesday, September 28, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern — Using NRCS’s PLANTS Database in Conservation Planning presented by Gerry Moore, Ph.D., Leader, National Plant Data Team, USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center, Greensboro, NC. 
Participate to learn the conservation applications of data available in the Agency’s PLANTS database and website.

Clean Drain Dry Mobile App for the Outdoors

Brooklyn Center, MN – For years, static signs posted at entry points and boat ramps have educated people on laws, rules and regulations. Rightfully so, to protect natural resources, but a new mobile app developed by Wildlife Forever and the Clean Drain Dry Initiative, works to change that using Augmented Reality (AR) technology to educate, inform and inspire conservation stewardship.

The Clean Drain Dry app uses unique campaign marketing materials and graphics to transport users to a video experience that informs and empowers positive actions to prevent invasive species. A pilot project, based in Minnesota with funding provided from the Outdoor Heritage Fund and administered by the Initiative Foundation, has created unique signage, empowered with AR that when scanned with the FREE app, takes the user through a brief survey and ultimately an educational video that reminds people to Clean Drain Dry to prevent invasive species.
“This new app will be a great tool to engage younger audiences and anyone with a phone in their hand,” said Pat Conzemius, Conservation Director for Wildlife Forever. “This beta launch is just the beginning for a new dimension in communications and has tremendous appeal for regional and national outreach and education.”
Don Hickman, Vice President for Community and Workforce Development for the Initiative Foundation said, “Our goal is to press the envelope with new strategies that help prevent the spread of invasive species. The Clean Drain Dry app has great promise and I hope to see it take off.”
New signs will be posted at public boat ramps and entry points throughout northern Minnesota. Four styles will target different user groups all reiterating the common theme and campaign focus of the Clean Drain Dry Initiative. Wildlife Forever would like to thank the U.S. Forest Service and numerous partners for their forward-thinking support and continued investment in outreach and education.
The Clean Drain Dry Initiative™ is the national outreach campaign to educate all outdoor recreational users on how to prevent the spread of invasive species. Working with local, state, federal and the outdoor industry, coordinated invasive species messaging focuses on strategic content, marketing communications and outreach tools for how to prevent.  For more information and tips on how you can help, follow along at Facebook at:
About Wildlife Forever (WF): Wildlife Forever’s mission is to conserve America's wildlife heritage through conservation education, preservation of habitat and management of fish and wildlife.  For over 27 years, WF members have helped to conduct thousands of fish, game and habitat conservation projects across the country. To join or learn more about the award-winning programs, including work to engage America’s youth,



2016-08-23: blog on Weed Control

From Faith Campbell:

Hello, Tree Pest Mavens!

Lots of news today.

1) I have posted my most recent blog at  This blog discusses the status of biocontrol for invasive plant species – at what we all hope is the end of lengthy delays in approving proposed biocontrol agents.

2) A reminder that the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases will hold its annual meeting in Indianapolis in November.  Registration and other information about the meeting are at 

Our agenda includes presentations or discussions on

·         Current pest issues in Indiana and the broader MidWest, e.g., thousand cankers disease and Asian longhorned beetle

·         Post-EAB invasion wave efforts to protect or restore both urban and wildland forests

·         The variety of citizen-engagement programs now under way

·         Efforts to improve federal policies re: forest pests – possible amendments to the Farm bill, other approaches, engaging the new Administration (whoever wins!)

3) the group is trying to get scientific issues incorporated into the Presidential campaign.  They have sent a set of 20 questions to the 4 main candidates.  These questions include questions about innovation and research; climate change, biodiversity, ocean health, and water; education and the internet; mental health and public health; energy and nuclear power; and space.

I think this is a great way for everyone to help elevate the discussion.  Remember – it is through POLITICS that Americans decide what issues are important for government to address.

You can sign their petition, view the 20 questions, and learn which scientific associations are part of the team at   

My question – why are so few of the biology-oriented associations part of this initiative?  Associations that have joined include the AIBS, ESA, Botanical Society of America, Organization of Biological Field Stations and the Wildlife Society.  

2016-08-17: USDA Seeks Applications for Fiscal Year 2017 National Clean Plant Network Cooperative Agreements

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting stakeholders to submit applications for fiscal year (FY) 2017 National Clean Plant Network (NCPN) projects under the 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007.

APHIS will accept applications for FY 2017 NCPN cooperative agreements from August 17, 2016 through October 26, 2016.

The NCPN provides high-quality, propagated plant material that is free of plant pathogens and pests that can cause economic losses to the American specialty crop industry. USDA’s goal is to create an effective, uniform, consistent, efficient, and highly self-sufficient network of clean plant centers serving the needs of specialty crop industry.

Funding will be provided to Land-Grant Universities, Non Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, State Governments, and Federal Agencies to support implementation and ongoing activities of the NCPN.

Funding priority will be given to support existing successful NCPN facilities and projects that address a specific specialty crop and that would help develop and maintain a comprehensive, cohesive, and efficient clean plant network. Historically, NCPN funded specialty crops have focused on grapes, fruit trees, citrus, hops, berries, roses, and sweet potatoes.

A total anticipated amount of $5 million in cooperative agreements will be awarded under the NCPN section of Farm Bill 2014 Section 10007. APHIS will announce the FY2017 projects selected for funding in the NCPN spending plan in late 2016. Applicants are encouraged to develop cost sharing plans as part of their applications to foster sustainability.

Detailed submission instructions and an explanation of the evaluation process are available on the APHIS Farm Bill Section 10007 website here:

Questions about the FY 2017 request for applications and review process should be directed to
Submit applications through



2016-08-15:  Techline's 2016 Invasive Plant Photo Contest is OPEN!

Full Techline Newsletter is viewable online here.

Submit up to three (3) photographs in each of two categories: 1) Invasive plants or 2). Invasive plant management in action for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate to REI or Forestry Suppliers! 


2016-08-08: Section 7 process and current status of weed biocontrol agent petitions

In light of discussions over the past year during Federal FICMNEW meetings and at ISAC last fall, I'd like to share with you this presentation by Bob Tichenor (APHIS), given to the participants of the MidAtlantic Early Detection Network's Emerging Invasive Species Workshop four weeks ago, at the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center.

The downloadable ppt presentation details how the environmental compliance/NEPA/Section 7 permitting process works, and also the current status of submitted petitions for nine weed biocontrol agent petitions within this complex process (as of 4 weeks ago).


Annie Simpson, FICMNEW cochair

2016-08-04: FICMNEW July meeting notes and presentation


For those who couldn't attend last week's FICMMEW meeting, please visit our collaborative space, on the Agency News page, to see useful references about the Federal Seed Act and regulations, provided to us by Ernest Allen from USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, here:

Our draft July FICMNEW meeting notes are here, named "2016-07-27_FICMNEW-OpenMeetingNotes-DRAFT2.docx" 

At that same URL you will find our draft meeting notes from June, named "2016-06-29_FICMNEW-OpenMeeting-Notes-DRAFT.docx." If anyone has changes to those notes, please email me. They will be finalized next Friday, August 12th.

Thank you,

Annie Simpson, FICMNEW cochair

2016-08-03: NAISMA Annual Meeting: Early registration Deadline is August 26th

From Phil Banks:

We are rapidly approaching the 2016 North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) annual meeting in Salt Lake City, UT (September 25-29). The deadline to get the early registration rate and a hotel room at the Little America Hotel for the meeting block rate is August 26. The meeting registration rate will increase after this.  

To register for the annual meeting and make a room reservation, go to the Annual Meeting page:

Nominate yourself or someone else to serve on the NAISMA Board of Directors by the September 1 deadline.  Here is the information you will need:

Board positions are for three years.  Board members are assigned to committees that they have interest in, are committed to monthly conference calls, and can have support to attend the annual meeting each year if needed. Please consider yourself or someone else that is committed to NAISMA for nomination.  

We will be publishing a September Newsletter prior to the annual meeting.  We need any information about your organizations new hires, job announcements, retirements, program successes, new invasive species detected, or any other items that would be of interest to the North American Invasive Species Management Association membership.  The Newsletter will also contain updated meeting information.  Pleases submit the newsletter information before August 22.


2016-08-02: APHIS Announces Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Glyphosate-Resistant Creeping Bentgrass

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) announces our intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate the environmental impacts that may result from the approval of a petition for deregulation of a creeping bentgrass genetically engineered for glyphosate resistance.

We request that the public review our Notice of Intent (NOI) and provide comment to help us identify potential issues and impacts that APHIS should consider in our evaluation of the petition from Scotts Company and Monsanto Company. The NOI will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days.

APHIS will consider all public input submitted during the 30-day comment period on the NOI and use the information as we work to complete, and then publish, the draft EIS. There will be another public comment period after publication of the draft EIS.

The petition and related information are available on the BRS News Webpage. Upon publication of the NOI in the Federal Register, comments can be submitted here for 30 days.


2016-08-01: Northern Rockies Invasive Plant Council Conference – Oct 17-19 in Boise, Idaho


From Gina Ramos:

Please join us for the 4th NRIPC Conference Oct. 17-20, 2016 at the Boise Centre in Boise, Idaho


Call for Papers DEADLINE is this Friday, August 5th!


Papers can be submitted for the following conference themes: 

1) Re-thinking integrated weed management—Tools across space and time,

2) Annual grasses—A perennial problem,

3) New invaders—Intros and updates,

4) Genetic variability of invasive plants,

5) Biological control,

6) Wet and wild—Aquatic invasive plants,

7) Restoration and revegetation,

8) Weeds and sage-grouse management


Visit  and follow the style of the sample abstract provided and indicate the session topic number you would like to submit your paper to. Abstract submission deadline is Friday, August 5, 2016 at midnight PST. Submit and upload your abstract (MS Word files only) by emailing


Conference Highlights:

    • ·       Keynotes by Dr. Roger Sheley (USDA-ARS), Dr. Jeanne Chambers (USDA FS-RMRS), Dr. Daniel Tekiela (University of Wyoming), Dr. Matt Germino (USGS), Dr. Urs Schaffner (CABI), and John Proctor (USDA FS)

    • ·       Symposia on invasiveness and management of rush skeletonweed, invasive mustards and Russian olive

    • ·       Biological weed control consortia meetings

    • ·       Requesting recertification credits for Idaho and Montana

    • ·       Federal per diem rates at both conference hotels

    • ·       Free parking, airport shuttle, and Boise Centre shuttle at conference hotels

    • ·       Early registration deadline is September 17, 2016

View the draft agenda or register now at!

See you in Boise in October!

2016-07-29: A Faster Way to Get Rid of Kudzu

From Hilda Diaz-Soltero:

USDA scientists are finding faster, more effective ways to remove invasive kudzu from the southeastern United States. (07/13)

2016-07-07: UM researchers find lack of government accountability on widespread herbicide use on public land

From Mike Ielmini:

2016-07-05: APHIS seeks input on draft International Phytosanitary Standards

The International Plant Protection Convention has posted for comment draft international phytosanitary standards on the following topics:

APHIS urges U.S. stakeholders to review and submit comments. Submit comments no later than Friday, August 26You can download the draft standards from the IPPC consultation site or by clicking the links above. Specific instructions for submitting comments are available on theAPHIS Web site. For more information contact Marina Zlotina at

These standards facilitate safe trade in plants and plant products, harmonize plant protection policies and practices among trading partners, and provide a critical framework for addressing phytosanitary trade issues and negotiating market access requests. U.S. input is important to ensure the development of technically sound standards and to advance U.S. harmonization goals.

If you represent a large association, please distribute this message to your membership. We will continue to send announcements about IPPC standards through the APHIS Stakeholder Registry. To subscribe, go to: and select the topic “international phytosanitary standards.”


2016-07-07: Leaders' statement on a North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership includes statement on invasive species collaboration

From Bruno Paris, CWS Canada:

During the recent North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and US President Barack Obama shared a common commitment to a competitive, low-carbon and sustainable North American economy and society. The portion of their statement dealing directly with invasive species asserts they will work together to "Strengthen cooperation on invasive alien species:

    • Further collaborate on addressing invasive alien species on a continental scale. Establish a trilateral working group to explore the development of a high level joint Strategy and Action Plan identifying key areas for collaboration, including under the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, and to initiate a survey of existing transboundary invasive alien species projects and initiatives."

The Canadian Wildlife Service, the Mexican National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, and the US National Invasive Species Council will join together in leading this initiative.


2016-06-30: Emerging Invasive Species Worskshop

From Jil Swearingen, NPS:

(MAEDN Emerging Invasives Workshop Agenda-0617.pdf), will be held in Laurel, MD, on July 11, at the FWS Patuxent National Wildlife Visitor Center. The workshop will include several presentations, lunch, and an outdoor exercise with the EDDMapS and MAEDN invasive species mobile app. More information and registration at:

2016-06-30: APHIS Farm Bill Webinars

The Farm Bill
passed in 2014 includes Section 10007, which authorizes $62.5 million in FY2017 in Commodity Credit Corporation funding, which supports two specific areas: the Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program and the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). 

USDA-APHIS has scheduled a series of Webinars to assist anyone who is planning on submitting a suggestion for FY 2017 Farm Bill Section 10007 funding consideration. Each of the hour long sessions will cover the same information, show attendees the submission process, and provide time for asking questions.

Remember to check the Farm Bill Web site for the information you need to submit a suggestion for the FY17 Spending Plan.

Webinar Schedule:


July 6

11:00 eastern time

General Public (Suggestion Help Session)


 July 13

 11:00 am eastern time

 General Public (Suggestion Help Session)

Webinar Details:

The connection information for all the Webinars is the same.
Join the VISUAL portion at:
Join the AUDIO portion: Dial Toll-free: +1 (888) 844-9904 Participant code: 118 6703
FIRST-TIME USERS of Microsoft Live Meeting
Check your system before the meeting to make sure it is ready to use Microsoft Office Live Meeting.

Unable to join the meeting? Follow these steps:
1. Copy this address and paste it into your web browser:
2. Copy and paste the required information:
Meeting ID: FarmBill_FY15
If you still cannot enter the meeting, contact a technical support person for your system or

2016-06-30: Bat Week Weed "Pulling for Bats" – October 24-31, 2016

From Mike Ielmini and Jason Stevens, USFS:

A FS Bat Week subcommittee has been established to organize a nationwide weed pulling effort titled “Pulling for Bats” to occur during Bat Week in late October. The goal for Bat Week is to have weed pulling events at 200 locations across the country during the week of October 24-31, 2016.  More information will be available in the coming weeks at and individual forests/grasslands/prairies can register their events on this site.

2016-06-29: The Pulling together Initiative of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

from Eric Forward, NFWF:

The Pulling together Initiative of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has published its latest Request For Proposals. The program will award grants that will develop cooperative weed management areas (CWMA), support significant advances of existing CWMAs, develop or strengthen prevention and early detection/rapid response efforts, enhance education, and assist awareness projects to reduce or eliminate invasive plant species. The program is a partnership among the NFWF, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service. For more information:


2016-06-29: FHWA Monarch Highway Initiative

From Mary Ann Rondinella, FHWA:

Here is an interesting blog post by U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx about the "Monarch Highway" initiative, given that last week was National Pollinator Week:


2016-06-27: Tired of Invasive Species? Eat 'em!

From Russ Jones, EPA:

Some options for your 4th of July celebrations. Tired of invasive species? Eat 'em!


2016-06-14: Western Governors Association passes policy resolution on combating invasive species


From Hilary Smith, DOI:

Western Governors enact new policy resolutions and amend existing resolutions on a bi-annual basis.  WGA’s most recent resolutions include one urging Congress and the Administration to support invasive species prevention, control/management programs on State, U.S. Flag Islands, Federal and Tribal lands. Specifically, Western Governors "support the creation of a west-wide invasive species inventory that is accessible to local, state and federal agencies, as well as the development of data management standards, formats, and protocols to ensure inter-operability to support information transfer, national distribution mapping, and awareness of species occurrences and spread. To this end, Western Governors will facilitate the development of such an inventory and recommendations for data management standards, formats and protocols that might be used by federal, state, and local land and resource managers." 

The html version of this policy:

The pdf version of this policy:


  2016-06-17: Buffelgrass fight enters new stage in Southern Arizona with stronger focus on long-term efforts

From Gina Ramos, BLM:

 Southern Arizona is entering a significant new stage in the fight againstbuffelgrass, as the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center (SABCC) hands over its responsibilities to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Pima Association of Governments and Sky Island Alliance; who are strongly positioned to wage the battle over the long-term.

SABCC was established in 2008 with four main goals:

    • Raise public awareness about rapid buffelgrass invasion and rising threats to public safety and protected areas in the Sonoran Desert from increasing fire risk

    • Map and assess the scope of the threat

    • Jumpstart control efforts and help evaluate their success

    • Coordinate efforts across multiple and varied jurisdictions

All four goals have been met in the past eight productive years. The time has come, however, to institutionalize the fight against buffelgrass and entrust and divide SABCC’s responsibilities among local organizations with longer standing and more stable revenue streams. Because it has been well-run and efficiently operated, SABCC will pass on significant resources to help these organizations continue the effort.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum(ASDM) will assume SABCC’s primary responsibilities.

    • ASDM will become the source of scientific information aboutbuffelgrass and methods for controlling it

    • ASDM will work with Saguaro National Park to implement the National Park Service Resilient Landscapes grant

    • ASDM will maintain the buffelgrass website –

    • ASDM will assume the regional mapping responsibilities

    • ASDM will coordinate the Buffelgrass Working Group, which facilitates coordination among all the local jurisdictions as well as the state and national agencies involved in controlling buffelgrass

Kim Franklin, the Conservation Biologist for the ASDM, has extensive experience with buffelgrass and is leading the museum’s effort for the community. Kim can be reached at Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743, tele:520-883-3008, email:

“SABCC has achieved what it set out to do 8 years ago, jumpstarting awareness and coordination of the battle to control buffelgrass. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is happy to work with PAG, Sky Island Alliance and the BuffelgrassWorking Group to ensure that these efforts continue,” said Debra Colodner, Director, Conservation Education and Science ASDM.

The Pima Association of Governments will assume leadership for Beat BackBuffelgrass Day, a key event in raising public awareness of the buffelgrass threat.PAG’s role is significant: PAG started Beat Back Buffelgrass Day in 2007, subsequently turned it over to SABCC, and is now pleased to resume this activity. Contact information for BBBD is now Cherie Campbell, Deputy Director tele: 520-495-1418, email:

And the Sky Island Alliance will assume direction of the international effort with Mexico against invasive species. Contact information for the project is LouiseMisztal, Executive Director, Sky Island Alliance tele: 520-624-7080 ext. 19, email:

The transition from SABCC to the other organizations will occur officially on June 30.

“We are very pleased that these organizations have stepped up to take responsibility for on-going buffelgrass control,” said Sarah Smallhouse, one of the founders of SABCC and its board chair throughout its eight years. “The Desert Museum is world-renowned and widely respected for its science and advocacy for the Sonoran Desert. PAG is the region’s key metropolitan planning organization. And the Sky Island Alliance is an engaged and well-regarded environmental nonprofit that spans the international border in its scope. The fight against buffelgrass could not be entrusted to better hands.”

SABCC was created in 2008 after two summit meetings of representatives from state and federal agencies, county and municipal governments, academia, private conservation organizations, business leaders, and concerned citizens called for the creation of an agency to coordinate the fight against buffelgrass. 

In its eight years SABCC has won accolades for its community-based approach to fighting buffelgrass. It also has been instrumental in bringing approximately $5 million worth of grants to Southern Arizona. SABCC’s accomplishments include:

    • Honored by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s coveted “2011 Partners in Conservation Awards,” presented to SABCC as one of only 17 organizations nationwide to win the award. SABCC was recognized for its integrated approach to mitigating the impacts of buffelgrass in theSonoran Desert.

    • Recognized by the Public Lands Foundation’s Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation in 2010 for SABCC’s bringing together a variety of partners to fight buffelgrass.

    • Played an integral role in securing a $3.4 million FEMA pre-disaster mitigation grant to control buffelgrass spread at Tucson International Airport and the Pima County Mission Complex, which houses the County Jail.

    • Managed cooperative agreements worth $600,000 with Saguaro National Park, the Ironwood Forest National Monument, and the U.S. Forest Service Southwest District.

    • Successfully campaigned to have the Arizona Department of Agriculture list buffelgrass as a noxious weed, a listing that means the plant cannot be sold in Arizona or brought into the state.

    • Worked with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Invasive Species Branch to create a decision support system for the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

    • Recruited thousands of volunteers to pull buffelgrass at the annual Beat Back Buffelgrass Day.

    • Helped coordinate local Congressional Field Hearings on buffelgrass invasion in the Sonoran Desert. Congressman Raul Grijalva, chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, presided over that hearing, which helped bring national attention to the threat buffelgrass presents to the desert and the region’s economy.

Julio Betancourt, a senior scientist now stationed at USGS Headquarters in Reston, VA and a founding SABCC member, encourages Tucson, Pima County, and southern Arizona, “to keep mapping, assessing risks, and seeking solutions.Unaddressed, the buffelgrass problem will surely worsen. As it does, concerns will eventually shift from biodiversity to public safety, as we struggle to stem brushfires in both urban and natural areas.”

SABCC’s board of directors optimistically looks forward to the new direction and outcomes that will be achieved by creating new approaches to controlling buffelgrass in Southern Arizona.


2016-06-17: NEMWI to Co-host Briefing on Efforts to Control Asian Carp in Mississippi River Basin, June 22

From Hilary Smith, DOI:


NORTHEAST MIDWEST INSTITUTE (NEMWI)in conjunction with the Mississippi Interstate Cooperative Resource Association (MICRA), will hold a Congressional briefing on actions to address the threat of Asian carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins, on Wednesday, June 22 from 1 PM to 2 PM in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, room SD-562. Participants at the briefing will include:

  • Aaron Woldt, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Asian Carp Coordinator--Asian carp management and control in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins

  • Greg Conover, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and MICRA Coordinator--Current state of Asian carp threat in the Mississippi River basin

  • Ron Brooks, Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources and MICRA chairman--Current actions to address the Asian carp threat in the Ohio River basin

  • Nick Frohnauer, Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources--Current actions to address the Asian carp threat in the Upper Mississippi River basin

  • Thomas Crump, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers--Army Corps Asian carp activities in the upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins

  • Rip Shively, U.S. Geological Survey--Asian carp control tools and technologies

  • Mike Weimer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Co-Chair of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee(ACRCC)--Coordinating and leveraging with the ACRCC Asian carp prevention and control efforts

For more information or to RSVP, contact Jared Mott (, Sr. Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

2016-08-11: When beauty becomes the beast: Research efforts successfully combat invasive species

April 22, 2016 by Melanie Schefft

It's all too rare that we are able to share invasive species success stories. Here is an article you may enjoy reading, from earlier this year:


2016-04-18: Faith's blog

Dear Forest Pest Mavens,

I have posted a new blog to - this one discusses several extant and new pests of oak trees from New Brunswick to Florida to San Diego,  

Please enjoy & tell your friends! – Faith Campbell

 Faith's blog - reminder to view "Trees in Trouble"

Dear Forest Pest mavens,


Andrea Torrice's great film about tree-killing pests is showing in many areas on public TV this month.  See my blog at ... check your local station's broadcast schedule. – Faith Campbell


2016-04-10: Ecosystem Restoration Projects Generate Jobs and Business Activity in Local, Regional, and National Economies

USGS disseminated a press release on societal effects of Ecosystem Restoration. – Annie Simpson

2016-04-10: March FICMNEW open meeting draft notes for comment



Attached are the draft notes from FICMNEW's last meeting (held on 30-March).

If you have suggested changes, please email them to before our next meeting on 27-April.

Thank you!

Annie Simpson, FICMNEW cochair

2016-04-07: BLM Releases Final Programmatic EIS to Use Three Herbicides on Western Public Lands


Release Date: 04/07/16
Contacts:        Lissa Eng , 202-912-7630
                       Gina Ramos, 202-912-7226

As part of ongoing efforts to combat the spread of invasive and noxious weeds that threaten the health and productivity of millions of acres of public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today released the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (Final PEIS) that examines the use of three new herbicides that are safer for the environment and human health than those previously used. A notice for the Final PEIS for vegetation treatments using aminopyralid, fluroxypyr, and rimsulfuron on BLM lands in 17 western states, which was published today in the Federal Register, opens a 30-day review period on the document.

"One of the BLM's highest priorities is to promote ecosystem health and one of the greatest obstacles to achieving this goal is the rapid expansion of weeds across public lands," said Mike Pool, acting Deputy Director of the BLM. "The new vegetation treatments will give our public land managers a better set of tools to address wildfire protection, habitation restoration, and other resource issues more effectively."

The Final PEIS assesses three alternative approaches to the use of aminopyralid (known by the trade name Milestone), fluroxypyr (Vista), and rimsulfuron (Matrix), as well as a "No Action" alternative that considers the continued use of 18 previously approved herbicides. The Final PEIS details the expected impacts and benefits from the BLM’s use of herbicides, and provides analysis to determine which herbicides should be approved for use. The Final PEIS addresses public comments on the draft PEIS by providing comment responses and changes to the analysis or supporting documentation, where appropriate.

The Final PEIS addresses a wide range of issues, including the effect of the herbicides on the health of humans, vegetation, fish and wildlife, livestock, and wild horses and burros. It also looks at water quality and Native American use of resources, and evaluates the cumulative impact of use of the new and other herbicides by the BLM and other landowners in the West.

The Notice of Availability of Final Vegetation Treatments Using Aminopyralid, Fluroxypyr, and Rimsulfuron on Bureau of Land Management Lands in 17 Western States Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement is accessible at

The Final PEIS, published in today’s Federal Register, will be available for public review through May 7, 2016. A Record of Decision will be issued following the 30-day review period.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

2016-04-04: Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council Biological Control Work Group

From Marc Imlay:

Non-native invasive species control (pdf)

Non-native invasive plants are covering all our natural areas in the region. The quantity of native plants and animals replaced by competition with non-native species is greater than that lost from all other causes except direct development in our terrestrial habitats and water pollution in our aquatic habitats.

Five programs are especially emphasized for successful control of non-native invasive plants, manual removal, the use of carefully targeted herbicides, host specific biological controls, early detection/rapid response, and development of a core of responsible leaders to ensure that in subsequent years all the successful projects are carried on by responsible entities. 

2016-04-04: Save the Date: North American Invasive Species Forum Meeting, May 9-11, 2017


Chuck Bargeron updated FICMNEW on NAISN's plan to host the North American Invasive Species Forum (formerly Weeds Across Borders) in Savannah, Georgia, for the week of May 8th, 2017.

FICMNEW friends, please save the date. Monday and Friday are planned as travel days, the NAISF meeting is expected to be May 9-11, 2017.

Brief 2MB pdf presentation: 

Conference Website in the works:

2016-04-04: FHWA's Administrator Gregory G. Nadeau issues pollinator memo emphasizing integrated vegetation management


From Mary Ann Rondinella, FHWA:

Last Friday the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration issued a memo, which notes the success of the White House “Transportation Leaders’ Summit: Restoring the Nation’s Pollinator Habitat,” discusses pollinator provisions in section 1415 of the FAST Act, and announces the release of FHWA’s “Pollinators and Roadsides: Best Management Practices for Managers and Decision Makers.” 

  2016-04-04: Faith's 31st blog - APHIS appropriations - manage more than ALB!

Dear Forest Pest Mavens,
I have posted a new blog at ... this one points out that APHIS funding is so insufficient that it can hardly address tree-killing invaders other than ALB. – Faith Campbell



From Annie Simpson:

Here is the link to the 28MB 103-slide presentation given to us yesterday by Chuck Bargeron, as well as his contact information should you have any problem with the download.

The presentation is about the May 2017 North American Invasive Species Forum conference being hosted by NAISN (the North American Invasive Species Network) and also about the latest developments of EDDMapS (the Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System) from the University of Georgia.

Chuck Bargeron
Associate Director for Invasive Species and Information Technology
Center for Invasive Species & Ecosystem Health
University of Georgia – Tifton, GA

2016-04-01: April Weed post "Watch out for Phragmites" from Jane Mangold 

 Happy April Fool’s Day!This month’s Weed Post is no joke, though—it highlights four weed manager-driven local research projects. I think you’ll find them interesting and might even be inspired to do something similar.I’d also like to take this opportunity to let you know about the new MSU Extension publication “Watch Out for Phragmites.” – Gina Ramos 


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