The Department of the Interior announced today that it will appoint new members to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (Committee), which provides information and expert advice to inform federal government activities related to invasive species. The Committee’s efforts to address the threat of invasive species will help advance the conservation goals of the America the Beautiful initiative, while also bolstering climate resilience for communities across the country.
Chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Committee provides advice to support the National Invasive Species Council (NISC), an interagency body that provides the vision and national leadership to coordinate, sustain and expand federal efforts to safeguard the interests of the United States through the prevention, eradication, and control of invasive species, and through the restoration of ecosystems and other assets impacted by invasive species.
After having been active for nearly two decades, the Trump administration defunded and disbanded the Committee in 2019. President Biden reestablished the Committee on September 30, 2021.
“Invasive species pose a significant threat – and sometimes cause irreversible damage – to the ecological, economic and cultural integrity of America’s lands and waters, and they can reduce the resilience to climate change of natural habitats, agricultural systems and urban areas,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Because controlling them can be a complex, expensive, and long-lasting effort, we seek the expertise of stakeholders to help us successfully resolve or forestall invasive species impacts.”
Invasive species impose substantial costs on society and the environment, including an estimated $120 billion in environmental damages and losses annually in the United States. They can drive native species onto the Endangered Species list; exacerbate the threat of wildfire that destroys property and endangers lives; increase the cost of delivering water and power; damage infrastructure; and threaten public health.
Invasive species also degrade recreation opportunities, discourage tourism, and can disrupt ecosystem functions including pollination, water filtration, pest control, and protection from erosion, wildfires, and other natural hazards. Invasive species can also deplete resources important to cultural heritage and subsistence living.
Executive Order 13112, as amended by Executive Order 13751, created the Committee to represent a wide range of expertise, stakeholder interests, and geographic regions, that can provide information and advice for consideration by the NISC. The NISC comprises the senior leadership of 12 federal departments and agencies and four executive offices of the President. The co-chairs of NISC are the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce.
The Committee will consist of up to 20 members who will have a broad range of expertise and stakeholder interests that includes non-federal government agencies (e.g., state, territorial, tribal, local); academia, research institutions, and scientific societies; the private sector and industry/trade associations; conservation and land management organizations; landowners, farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other resource users; public health specialists; education and outreach specialists; regional organizations; and citizen scientists, recreationists, and other public interest groups.
Ex officio members from several national organizations and associations engaged in addressing invasive species and their impacts may also be appointed.
Information on how to submit formal nominations for the ISAC is available in the Federal Register notice.