Invasive Species: An Inside Look at Management and Funding Protocols

Glover, Kaitlynn
Effective prevention and management of invasive species plagues agriculturalists, policy makers and academics worldwide. The United States addresses invasive species through various programs at the federal, regional and state levels, with little success due to the multiplicity of challenges invasive species pose. Though multifaceted, these challenges can be addressed in this manner: first determining the identity of an invasive species (plant, animal, virus) and the inherent challenges posed by the specific life form, examining the potential role/harm the species would play in the non-native ecosystem, and identifying an appropriate control method (including viable agency of duties). More than 1,000 plant invasive species alone exist in the United States, which limits the ability of the federal government to have a specific plan with which to deal with invasive species. Because the diversity of control methods with which to deal with invasive species is spread among a variety of agencies, this diffusion of responsibility coupled with the inability of the agencies to communicate about potentially cooperative management plans poses the greatest challenge to control of any type of invasive species. Ultimately, for invasive species to be managed effectively, the appropriations process must be amended to address the rapidly evolving ecological realities.
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