Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls for Comprehensive Action Against Invasive Species on House Floor
February 24, 2016
Washington, DC—In recognition of National Invasive Species Awareness Week, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the House Floor today to highlight the harmful impacts of invasive species in Hawaiʻi and across the country. The congresswoman encouraged lawmakers to cosponsor and pass the Areawide Integrated Pest Management Act (H.R. 3893), legislation that she introduced in November 2015 to support long-term and sustainable solutions to fight invasive species.
In a speech on the House floor, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “In my home state of Hawaiʻi, the coffee berry borer, coconut rhinoceros beetle, macadamia nut felted coccid and others have cost our local economy millions, and threaten our unique ecosystem, our agriculture and waterways, as well as our food supply and public health. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to combat the more than 4,300 invasive species that are present in Hawaiʻi and across the country. That’s why I introduced the Areawide Integrated Pest Management Act, which would bring local stakeholders together with researchers and other key players in order to find sustainable, cost effective, and comprehensive solutions that will better help all of us to manage and prevent the spread of these harmful pests and invasive species.”
The AIPM Program Act of 2015 1) Maximizes the efficient use of resources on AIPM projects when addressing pest management, 2) Protects the health and safety of humans and the environment through biocontrol applications, 3) Ensures AIPM projects are largely influenced by farmers, ranchers, and pest management experts most familiar with local needs with the assistance of federal agencies, universities, and private individuals important for specific projects, and 4) Ensures ongoing positive AIPM project outcomes by requiring a comprehensive business plan showing how the project will continue once federal funding ends.
The legislation is endorsed by the Entomological Society of America, National Farmers Union, Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United, and the Weed Science Society of America.