Legislative Background: New York’s Response
Recognizing the growing problem of invasive species, in 2003, Governor Pataki signed legislation sponsored by Senator Marcellino and Assemblyman DiNapoli. Chapter 324 of the Laws of New York of 2003 called for an Invasive Species Task Force to explore the invasive species issue in New York State and to provide recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by November 2005.
Why New York Is Responding to Invasive Species
The 146-page Fall 2005 NYS Invasive Species Task Force Report, describes the nature and extent of the invasive species problem in NYS. It discusses existing efforts to manage invasive species, starting with overviews of statewide, including federally supported, programs. It addresses both successes and obstacles to success, using species accounts to illustrate concepts, including a review of who is doing what to combat invasive species in the state. The report presents 12 recommendations for how the state could better address the invasive species issue. The report is available here as both an Executive Summary and as the full New York Invasive Species Task Force Report.
In August 2007, Governor Spitzer signed Chapter 674 of the Laws of 2007 creating a new Title 17 of the NY Environmental Conservation Law, the NYS Invasive Species Council Act, establishing the New York Invasive Species Council and an Invasive Species Advisory Committee to assess “the nature, scope and magnitude of the environmental, ecological, agricultural, economic, recreational, and social impacts caused by invasive species in the state” and to identify and coordinate actions to prevent, control, and manage invasive species. Title 17 was amended by the Legislature in 2008 (Laws of New York, 2008 Chapter 26, Environmental Conservation Law Title 17). Additional information on the Invasive Species Council can be found on the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s Invasive Species Council web page, including the 2010 report “A Regulatory System for Non-Native Species.”
In December 2007, Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis announced the formation of the Office of Invasive Species Coordination within DEC. This Office brings together biologists and foresters to develop ways to combat the invasive species problem, and work with universities, other state agencies and non-profit organizations to support research and raise public awareness of the issue. The Office will coordinate New York State-funded invasive species programs, including: grants for municipalities to eradicate problem species; public outreach efforts; a plan to develop “clean stock” at the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva to provide fruit growers with virus-free planting stock; creation of an Institute of Invasive Species Research and an Invasive Species Clearinghouse at Cornell University; efforts to craft an integrated map that pinpoints invasives in and near New York; and, the development and implementation of eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs).
NYS Invasive Species Advisory Committee
The 2007 NYS Invasive Species Council Act, Chapter 674, Title 17, Section 9 of the NY Environmental Conservation Law as amended in the Laws of New York, 2008 Chapter 26, Environmental Conservation Law Title 17, established the New York State Invasive Species Advisory Committee to provide information, advice, and guidance to the Invasive Species Council, including but not limited to providing assistance with the development of the four-tier classification system for non-native animal and plant species.
State Laws and Regulations Addressing Invasive Species
New York State has a number of existing and new laws and regulations pertaining to invasive species under the Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Agriculture and Markets, Soil and Water Conservation, and Department of Health. (September 2014)
Many components of New York’s response to invasive species are being carried out by partner programs under contract to the State, funded with NYS Environmental Protection Fund support.