Help strengthen USDA screening of plant imports

broom
Brooms are major invaders introduced through horticultural import. Photo courtesy Stacy Schmidt.

Prevention is the first and best line of defense for invasive plant control, and right now we have an opportunity to greatly improve US invasive plant prevention policy.
Join us in letting government decision-makers know how important such action is for proteting the country’s natural heritage.

While many countries have adopted protocol that protect their environment without unduly limiting free trade, the US system remains weak (see the National Plant Board’s 2006 assessment.)
The USDA, which bears responsibility for screening plant imports, has released new “Q-37” guidelines for review, with comments due Oct. 21, 2009.
Some will resist this proposal, so it is critical that natural resource managers voice their perspectives.
Below are important actions you can take to encourage immediate action.

What you can do:

1. Submit an online comment.

Formal comments submitted to the Regulations.gov website by Oct. 21 will be part of the public record.
A simple statement from your perspective on the importance of preventing invasive plant introductions will help support stronger screening.
From this page you can also access the proposed guidelines, official background docs, and all comments submitted to date.

2. Fax a letter from your organization.

?

Take this important step to encourage key decision makers to take prompt action to implement new screening guidelines.
Use our sample letter, which includes instructions on where to send it.

Background and materials: