Every year new outbreaks of invasive species are found in the U.S. These invasions are generally an unintended consequence, e. g., hitchhikers on global trade items; arriving as a result of weather conditions or accidental transport through pathways such as solid wood packaging; or “imported” by travelers bringing favorite materials back from foreign lands without realizing the risk associated with potentially infected material. Most disturbingly, they can also arrive as a result of purposeful introductions by terrorists. Vigilance is necessary at all times and turns.
The need for a coordinated national strategy seems obvious; however, the issue does not receive its due compared with the emphasis on expanding global trade. Many who track the invasive species issue, while supporting the value and need for global trade, recognize that trade is not without costs – and while global trade can be fair, it is not free. As a result, trade policies should entail assuring minimal economic effects associated with the introduction of invasive species – a level playing field, so to speak. While many federal and state programs are in place, the level of resources needed to combat the problems are nowhere close to dealing with the issues at hand. Read More