Federal Guidelines for Invasive Species
Zebra mussels are perhaps the most notorious
invasive species. They are thought to be
introduced to the Great Lakes via ships' ballast
water. (Photo: noaa, Great Lakes Environmental
The United States has several legal guidelines that are intended to prevent and
combat invasive species. Chief among them is the National Invasive Species Act
of 1996. This act is a reauthorization and amendment to the 1990 Nonindigenous
U.S. Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-646),
which authorized the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to address aquatic invaders. Section 1103 of the 1996 act states that the "Secretary of Defense shall implement a ballast water
management program for seagoing vessels of the Department of Defense and
Coast Guard (see http://www.nemw.org/nisa_summary.htm). The act also calls for
the creation of state invasive species management plans, development of ballast
water guidelines for commercial vessels, research studies, and demonstration projects.
Advocates of the ballast program argue that the act needs reauthorization
that includes the program's expansion to cover all commercial vessels similar to
that of the armed services program. The Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force
is an intergovernmental group that
helps to implement the act. There is also a hotline to report sightings of aquatic
nuisance species (ANS) in the U.S. (telephone 877-stop-ans; http://cars.er. usgs.gov/Nonindigenous_Species/Stop_ANS/stop_ans.html).
Executive Order 13112, Invasive Species. Executive Order 13112, which was signed
in 1999, created the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) that is composed
of 13 federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Defense.
The council's principal objectives are to prevent the introduction of invasive
species, monitor invasives' populations, promote restoration of native species,
and promote public education on invasive species (http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/laws/execorder.shtml). A five-year review of the NISC was recently completed
This document highlights the accomplishments to date and the NISC's future plans.
The DoD's Armed Forces Pest Management
Board supports research on the control
of invasive species. One extensive project
involved an evaluation by scientists from
Clemson University of various eradication
techniques for the imported red fire ant at
McEntire Air National Guard Station, South
Carolina. (Photo: Douglas Ripley)
Armed Forces Pest Management Board. This board (http://www.AFPMB.org) provides
numerous resources regarding invasive species and other pests impacting
military lands and operations. The AFPMB has developed best management practices,
standard pesticide use guidelines, resources for identifying invasive species,
and links to research activities. The AFPMB publishes technical guidance for installation
personnel who are responsible for pest management plans (see http://www.afpmb.org/pubs/tims/TG18/tg18.htm). The DoD website lists a number of
"Technical and Informational Resources Regarding Invasive Species" notices.
They may be found at https://www.denix.osd.mil. Another useful document on
the site is "Predicting the Spread of Non-Indigenous Invasive Species: Can It Be
Done?" at https: //www.denix.osd.mil.
Proceed to Next Section: Combating Invasive Species