The National Association of State Foresters has written a letter in support of the Invasive Species Prevention and Forest Restoration Act of 2021 (H.R. 1389), applauding the bill’s aim to improve programs intended to prevent the introduction and impacts of non-native forest pests.
NASF represents the directors of the state forestry agencies in all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. State foresters deliver technical and financial assistance to the millions of private landowners who protect forest health, wildlife habitat, and water resources through their management of more than two-thirds of forests in the U.S. State forestry agencies are also responsible for wildfire protection on more than 1.5 billion acres nationwide and routinely partner with federal agencies through congressional authorities to manage our national forests and grasslands.
One of the greatest threats identified in the states’ Forest Action Plans are native and non-native pests and diseases, which have the potential to displace native trees, shrubs, and other vegetation types in forests. The Invasive Species Prevention and Forest Restoration Act provides a strategy to improve forest health by improving coordination efforts combating non-native insects and disease-causing pathogens, providing needed funding for these efforts, and making invasives management a priority for federal agencies.
The bill would:
- Expand USDA APHIS’ access to emergency funding to combat invasive species when existing federal funds are insufficient and broadens the range of actives that these funds can support.
- Establish a grant program to support institutions focused on researching methods to restore native tree species that have been severely damaged by invasive pests.
- Authorize funding to implement promising research findings on how to protect native tree species.
- Mandate a study to identify actions needed to overcome the lack of centralization and prioritization of non-native insect and pathogen research and response within the federal government, and develop national strategies for saving tree species.
Read the full letter of support by clicking the link below.