DOI reinstates Invasive Species Advisory Committee

After reinstating the federal Invasive Species Advisory Committee, the U.S. Department of the Interior has announced a call for nominations to the committee.

The federal advisory committee aims to support the National Invasive Species Council (NISC), an interagency body that works to coordinate federal efforts to prevent, eradicate and control the spread of invasive species. The committee was disbanded in 2019 after nearly two decades of existence when NISC funding was cut in half.

The Wildlife Society, alongside other members of the National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species, have supported the work of NISC and the advisory committee. In 2019, the coalition wrote a letter to Congress requesting that appropriators direct the administration to reinstitute NISC funding.

In September 2021, President Biden signed an executive order to revive several lapsed federal advisory committees—the Invasive Species Advisory Committee was one of them. With the committee’s reestablishment, NISC will have greater access to scientific information and resources to aid in its responsibility to advance invasive species management goals.

“The Invasive Species Advisory Committee will help equip federal decision-makers with the information they need to effectively take on the complexities of invasive species management,” said Caroline Murphy, AWB®, and government relations manager for The Wildlife Society. “The panel will be valuable in ensuring that agency decisions on invasive species are informed by natural resource professionals and the best available science.”

Invasive species cause an estimated $120 billion in damages in the United States each year, with consequences on wildlife and human health, outdoor recreation, agricultural productivity and native fisheries escalating as invasives become established in new areas and expand their range. The reinstatement of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee will help inform federal policies that prevent and manage the spread of invasive species.

Header Image: European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) are one of over 6,500 recognized invasive species that pose a threat to native wildlife, plants, ecosystems, and human health in the United States. Credit: Nick Leppänen Larsson