SAF Supports Legislation Combating Invasive Species 

September 14, 2021

SAF is proud to support Rep. Peter Welch's (D-VT) Invasive Species Prevention and Forest Restoration Act (HR 1389), which provides new resources to prevent and mitigate threats from invasive species.

"The growing challenges of destructive forest pests and pathogens require renewed emphasis on coordination, increased investments in research, and access to new resources. SAF is proud to support Rep. Welch's legislation and bring increased visibility to this important issue impacting forest health across the nation."
       -Terry Baker, CEO, Society of American Foresters

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.

The bill aligns well with SAF's current position statement on Nonnative Invasive Species Forest Species:

"The Society of American Foresters recognizes that invasive species present one of the most significant and urgent threats to America’s forests, costing billions of dollars each year to our commercial, recreational and agricultural sectors. SAF supports a multi-tiered approach to invasive species management that includes prevention, eradication, control, and forest restoration. Management approaches should focus on practices that build greater resiliency and resistance to invasive species within forest ecosystems to ensure sustainable forests for future generations. SAF encourages federal agencies, states, counties, and municipalities to be cognizant of threats from invasive species in their budgets and priorities to ensure that eradication and control of invasive species is an important element of their operations."

The bill is also supported by the National Association of State Foresters, American Forest Foundation, among others. 

Learn more about the bill.

Download the one-pager.