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ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

SUPPORTING INCREASED FUNDING TO COMBAT INVASIVE SPECIES

WHEREAS, the introduction and spread of invasive species, plants and animals non-indigenous to the United States, is becoming a serious problem for many communities across the country; and

WHEREAS, the total economic impact of invasive species on the U.S. economy is estimated to be about $123 billion annually; and

WHEREAS, the environmental impact is as devastating as the economic loss. For example, in Chicago, over 700 public and private trees were removed due to the infestation of the Asian Longhorned Beetle. New York has lost over 2,800 trees from the same pest. This invasive species has cost the federal, state, and local governments more than $5 million. These costs are expected to escalate as the beetle population spreads, resulting in the loss of more trees which will need to be replaced; and

WHEREAS, aside from the Asian Longhorned Beetle infestations in Chicago and New York, the Beetles have been sighted in 11 states at 26 separate locations; although they are not established populations, these states are at risk for developing infestations. While this is only one pest, it is indicative of the problems the nation is facing with invasive species; and

WHEREAS, the Administration's budget for FY 2000, proposes an increase of more than $28.8 million in funding to combat invasive species. This includes funding for combating exotic pests and diseases, as well as accelerating research on biologically-based integrated pest management practices and habitat restoration; and

WHEREAS, the detection and eradication efforts associated with the Asian Longhorn Beetle in Chicago and New York are examples of the types of programs to be supported through the Administration's proposal; and

WHEREAS, the President also signed Executive Order 13112 on February 3, 1999, which establishes the Invasive Species Council. The Council will develop a federal interagency strategy to prevent the introduction of invasive species and to restore native species. The Council is tasked with preparing and presenting the National Invasive Species Management Plan within 18 months after the issuance of the order,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors supports the Administration's proposed $28.8 million increase in funding for FY 2000 to combat invasive species which are negatively impacting many communities across the nation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress to appropriate the necessary funds for invasive species control in FY 2000; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors asks that the Council considers input from local officials during the development and implementation of the National Invasive Species Management Plan.

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