DoD Biodiversity Conservation Handbook
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Chapter 7: Invasive Species Management on Military Lands

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 Laboratory)

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 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;

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 ( A five-year review of the NISC was recently completed (see 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 ( 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 The DoD website lists a number of "Technical and Informational Resources Regarding Invasive Species" notices. They may be found at Another useful document on the site is "Predicting the Spread of Non-Indigenous Invasive Species: Can It Be Done?" at https: //

Proceed to Next Section: Combating Invasive Species

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Troy Weldy is an invasive species specialist with The Nature Conservancy.

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