State Wildlife Agencies, National Wildlife Federation Call on Congress to Stop Invasive Species

June 2007 News
Wildlife agencies from all 50 states joined the National Wildlife Federation today in calling on Congress to shut the door on invasive species.

"The United States is under attack from invasive species, and it's time for Congress to take a stand to protect America's fish and wildlife, economy, and way of life," said Corry Westbrook, legislative representative for the National Wildlife Federation. "The longer we wait, the worse the problem of invasive species gets and the more expensive the solutions become. The time to act is now."

The announcement came today as the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and NWF sent a letter to the U.S. Congress urging immediate action to stop invasive species.

"Congressional inaction has saddled state wildlife agencies with the burden of dealing with invasive species," Westbrook said. "Our message to Congress is simple: We have manageable solutions to this problem. It's time to use them. Delay will only make matters worse."

Comprehensive legislation to combat aquatic invasive species sits dormant in the U.S. Congress. Elected officials have failed to vote on comprehensive invasive species legislation, the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act, for four years in a row.

"Congressional delay is exacerbating an already serious problem," said Westbrook. "The good news is that we have solutions to protect our fish and wildlife and ensure that people have abundant fishing and hunting opportunities now and for generations to come. It all hinges on whether Congress will exert leadership on this issue."

Aquatic and terrestrial invasive species cost more than $120 billion annually in damage and control costs.

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies represents the fish and wildlife professionals in the 56 states and territories, and the federal agencies of the United States.

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