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GLIN==> NYS Draft Invasive Species Task Force Report



NEW YORK STATE RELEASES DRAFT REPORT FROM INVASIVE SPECIES TASK FORCE
Report Offers Analysis, Recommendations on How to Combat Threats to Ecosystems

The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets are seeking public comment on the Draft Report of the New York State  Invasive Species Task Force (ISTF) released Thursday.  The Draft Report describes problems associated with invasive plants, animals and pathogens, and discusses existing efforts by government, conservation groups and industry.  The Draft Report also makes recommendations about how New York can more effectively combat this growing and expensive threat.

Invasive species are non-native species that can harm our ecosystems, food supply, human health, and "built environments," such as gardens, landscaping, industry, and infrastructure.  Common invasive species found in New York include: Zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, Asian Long-horned Beetle, Swede Midge, Purple Loosestrife, Giant Hogweed and Black Swallowwort. 

As a threat to our biodiversity, invasive species have been judged second only to habitat loss.  Invasive species come from all around the world and the rate of invasion is increasing with the increase in international trade.  Since the Task Force began its work in 2004, at least six new species have invaded New York.

The Draft Report is available in full on the web at www.dec.state.ny.us.  For those without access to the web, copies of the Draft Report can be obtained by calling DEC at
518-402-8924.  

The Task Force is holding six public review sessions around New York State on Tuesday, August 2, 2005,  from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The public is encouraged to attend.
		
Region		Location
Capital District	NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, Pride of New York Room 10 B Airline Drive, Albany

Hudson Valley	NYSDEC Headquarters, Meeting Room 321 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz

North Country	Adirondack Park Agency Headquarters, NYS Route 86, Ray Brook

Central New York	Empire Expo Center (State Fairgrounds), Martha Eddy Room, Syracuse

Western New York	Monroe County CCE, Education Center Auditorium, 249 Highland Avenue, Rochester

NYC - Long Island	Carriage House, Planting Fields Arboretum, Planting Fields Road, Oyster Bay

Comments on the ISFT Draft Report will be accepted through September 14, 2005.  All comments must be written.  They can be sent electronically to fwhabtat@gw.dec.state.ny.us ("ISTF Report" in subject line) or mailed to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4756, Attn: ISTF Report.

A final report is due to the Governor and Legislature by November 30, 2005.

The ISTF was signed into law by Governor Pataki in 2003.  The 17-member team is led jointly by DEC and Agriculture and Markets.  The ISTF first convened in 2004 and does consult with the federal National Invasive Species Council.  Other members of the ISTF include: 

	New York State Department of Transportation
	New York State Thruway Authority (and Canals Corporation)
	New York State Museum (and Biodiversity Research Institute)
	New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
	New York State Department of State
	Adirondack Park Agency
	New York Sea Grant
	Cornell University
	Invasive Plant Council
	The Nature Conservancy (and Natural Heritage Program)
	New York State Farm Bureau
	Empire State Marine Trades Association
	New York State Nursery and Landscape Association
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