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Re: Alert: Proposed USDA Noxious Weeds Program

  • Subject: Re: [IGSROBIN] Alert: Proposed USDA Noxious Weeds Program
  • From: Phil Bunch <pbunch@CTS.COM>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Apr 2002 07:22:43 -0700

Maria and all:

Few Pelargonium species or hybrids are likely to be affected by this
action. Geranium species are a different matter. I work in the
regulatory context and have some experience with the folks that
implement such programs. Most are very good, dedicated, and rational
public servants. The problems arise when some less qualified
individuals develop a vendetta attitude. This can be very problematic.

The program is envisioned to control the introduction of plants
"within" the US. From the National Invasive Species Council (Council)
recommendations for screening:

"c. Introduction of non-native propagative plants or seeds for any
purpose (e.g., horticulture or botanical gardens) within the
continental United States. Lead Departments: USDA and Interior."

I will argue that in order to be effective interstate traffic must be
addressed. What good does it do to prevent the introduction of species
into to the US if those with invasive potential can move freely across
state lines?  I've seen some of the proposals for screening methods
and they have a long way to go before they will effectively separate
invasive species from similar but non-invasive organisms. The only
solution to this is a shotgun approach that lists whole genera or
families as is done in CITES and enforced by the USFWS.

To provide some context, examples of the kind of penalties that are
currently implemented are represented by the following:

From the Federal Noxious Weed Act
Title 7 - Agriculture
Chapter 61 - Noxious Weeds

"Sec. 2807. Penalties
Any person who knowingly violates section 2803 or 2804 of this title,
or any regulation promulgated under this chapter, shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $5,000, or
by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both.

(Pub. L. 93-629, Sec. 8, Jan. 3, 1975, 88 Stat. 2151."

Also from The Endangered Species Act of 1973:

(1) Any person who knowingly violates any provision of this Act, of
any permit or certificate issued hereunder, or of any regulation
issued in order to implement subsection (a)(1)(A), (B), (C), (D), (E),
or (F); (a)(2)(A), (B), (C), or (D), (c), (d) (other than a regulation
relating to recordkeeping, or filing of reports), (f), or (g) of
section 9 of this Act shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than
$50,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both. Any person
who knowingly violates any provision of any other regulation issued
under this Act shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $25,000
or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both."

The Council discussion includes the provisions of these Acts and this
at least provides an important part of the regulatory context within
which it is being held.  I'm pretty sure that some kind of regulation
will be promulgated but its form is not yet decided. This is a program
that is still in it's relatively early phases and it is a good time to
participate in the process.

Phil Bunch

----- Original Message -----
From: "maria guzman" <mirror@3RIVERS.NET>
Sent: Saturday, April 13, 2002 06:19
Subject: Re: [IGSROBIN] Alert: Proposed USDA Noxious Weeds Program

> This was discussed on Alpine-L and appears to be something of an
> exaggeration.  In fact a classic Conspiracy Theory.  I'll see if I
> retrieve the relevant comments.
> Maria
> >Please forgive the cross posting but this is a very important
> >Also I'm no longer subscribed to some of these lists and would
> >appreciate it if this information gets passed on to as many plant
> >oriented groups as possible.
> >
> >J.L. Hudson published an article in the April issue of Espinas y
> >Flores (the SDCSS Newsletter) indicating that the USDA is proposing
> >required permits and inspections of all seeds and plants being
> >transported across state lines (in the US). Hudson has a website
> >some opinion at:
> >
> >http://www.jlhudsonseeds.net/USDAComment.htm
> >
> >The proposal can be accessed at:
> >
> >http://www.invasivespecies.gov/council/actionb.shtml
> >
> >Phil Bunch

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