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Gillibrand proposes new invasive species law

Posted: 11:34 PM, Jul 18, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-19 03:34:43Z

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has introduced legislation meant to prevent the importation of species that pose at as a threat to New York's natural resources.

It's called the Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act, and it would give federal wildlife officials the ability the block potentially harmful species from being imported into the country and across state lines.

“The Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act would give federal wildlife officials new tools to keep out invasive species that pose an imminent threat to Western New York,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “In recent years, we’ve seen many cases of invasive species from other countries – dangerous animals that aren’t meant to live in our ecosystems here – being introduced into bodies of water around our state and around Western New York. We need to do more to prevent harmful species from coming here from overseas and harming our ecosystems, and this bill would finally let us begin to address this problem.”

Under the current system, a species is designated as injurious only after it say been introduced to the United States and established an ecosystem. Once a species is listed as injurious, it cannot be imported into the United States or its territories, or through interstate commerce, without a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit. designations happen after a species has already been introduced to the United States and established an ecosystem. 

Currently, more than 200 species are listed as “injurious” to natural resources in the United States. 

This new legislation would establish an injurious species listing process based on risk to natural resources, and would provide the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with temporary authority to make emergency designations for wildlife that pose an imminent threat.