Invasive Species Council releases management plan

By Emily Ronis

Burmese python (Python bivittatus) ©Florida Fish and Wildlife

The National Invasive Species Council (NISC) has released its 2016-2018 Management Plan, which outlines priority actions for the prevention and control of invasive species.

NISC was established in 1999 by Executive Order 13112 and was charged with providing high-level federal leadership to prevent, remove, and control invasive species. NISC members are federal agency staff and non-federal stakeholders, including the USDA, Department of the Interior, and the EPA.

The Plan will guide NISC’s activities for the next two years, presenting priority needs and actions that will address the prevention and control of invasive animals and plants. It heavily incorporates the Safeguarding America’s Lands and Waters from Invasive Species: A National Framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR Framework). Released in Feb. 2016 by multiple federal agencies, the ERDD Framework describes early detection and rapid response actions that can minimize the extent of damage caused, both ecologically and economically, by an invasive species.

The Plan outlines six priority actions for NISC to address invasive species: provide institutional leadership; facilitate effective coordination and cost-efficiencies; raise awareness; remove barriers; assess and strengthen federal capacities; and foster innovation.

NISC will provide institutional leadership for this issue in part by establishing a National Early Detection and Rapid Response Task Force. Members will be senior-level representatives from federal agencies and non-federal entities. The group would set national priorities and provide resources for implementing early detection and rapid response efforts.

To help raise awareness of invasive species, the Plan calls for the production of a documentary that links invasive species issues to everyday life, as well as an electronic toolkit that provides communication resources and guidance for member agencies and partners. In the interest of fostering innovation, NISC will also organize and host an Innovation Summit to promote scientific and technological advances to further invasive species prevention and control.

Read The Wildlife Society’s Position Statement on invasive plants and animals.

Emily Ronis is a Policy Communication Intern at The Wildlife Society. Read more of Emily's articles.