CALIFORNIA INVASIVE SPECIES COUNCIL ANNOUNCED AT WORLD AG
Coordinated Effort Will Help Guard Against Non-Native Species Statewide
Tulare, CA, February 10, 2009 – California officials today
announced a coordinated effort to prevent and control harmful invasive
species infestations throughout the state. The California Invasive
Species Council will assist in minimizing the negative effects of non-native
species on the state’s agriculture, lands, natural resources, and waterways
in rural and urban environments.
“The Invasive Species Council will protect California’s consumers and our
environment from destructive pests, plants and diseases that also threaten
our food supply,” said Secretary A.G. Kawamura of the California Department
of Food and Agriculture, chairman of the council.
The newly formed council will be chaired by Secretary Kawamura and
vice-chaired by Mike Chrisman, Secretary for the California Natural Resources
Agency. Also serving on the council will be Secretary Linda Adams of
California’s Environmental Protection Agency; Secretary Dale Bonner from the
Business, Transportation and Housing Agency; Secretary Kim Belshe from the
California Health and Human Services Agency; and Matt Bettenhausen, Acting
Secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency.
“Coordinating California’s resources will maximize our opportunities to
protect against harmful non-native species that will destroy our forests,
scenic wildlands and waterways,” said Secretary Chrisman.
The council will appoint a California Invasive Species Advisory Committee
(CISAC) tasked with making recommendations to prioritize an invasive species
rapid response plan. The committee will take input from local government,
tribal governments and federal agencies, as well as environmental
organizations, academic and science institutions, affected industry sectors
and impacted landowners.
Two of the invasive species currently threatening California are the quagga
mussel and the Asian citrus psyllid. Quagga mussels are the size of a
fingernail but can colonize on hulls, engines and steering components of
boats and threaten municipal water supplies, agricultural irrigation and
power plant operations. An infestation of the zebra mussel in the Great Lakes
cost the power industry $3.1 billion from 1993-1999.
The Asian citrus psyllid, a small, aphid-like insect, can carry citrus
greening disease, which has already killed tens of thousands of acres of
trees in Florida and Brazil and wiped out entire citrus industries in China,
India, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. More than $11 million in state, federal and
grower funds are being used to protect California’s $1.3 billion dollar
industry from the psyllid.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture protects and promotes
California’s agricultural industry. California’s farmers and ranchers produce
a safe, secure supply of food, fiber and shelter; marketed fairly for all
Californians; and produced with responsible environmental stewardship.
CDFA Deputy Secretary, Public Affairs