CONTAINMENT AND ERADICATION OF NON-NATIVE TREE-KILLING INSECTS AND DISEASES
WHEREAS, city trees in parks and along streets are critical tother quality of life and livability of America's cities; and
WHEREAS, trees in cities provide numerous benefits including shade, reduced summer temperatures, amelioration of storm winds, improved air and water quality, civic beauty, storm water mitigation; and
WHEREAS, in recognition of their many benefits, cities often plant trees and spend resources to maintain those trees through their public agencies; and
WHEREAS, cities across the country have suffered severe financial and aesthetic losses due to the introduction and spread of non-native insects and diseases, with costs to individual municipalities often running to several million dollars over a period of two to four years; and
WHEREAS, active non-native insects and diseases affecting municipal trees in various portions of the nation now include the Asian longhorned beetle, birch leaf miner, emerald ashborer, laurel wilt, sudden oak death, and the wiliwili gallwasp; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) is the primary federal agency responsible for preventing introduction and spread of non-native insects and diseases that attack and kill these trees through its Emerging Plant Pests Program; and
WHEREAS, the efficacy of USDA APHIS in fulfilling that responsibility is limited by insufficient resources to enforce its regulations and to revise and update those regulations; and
WHEREAS, states and cities are constrained from establishing laws that exceed APHIS requirements by both international and domestic law.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors affirms its support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s efforts to address the critical threat of non-native insects and diseases affecting trees; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress to provide enhanced resources for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Emerging Plant Pests Program in future appropriations bills, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors Calls upon the Emerging Plant Pest Program to provide expertise and resources to assist rural and urban communities in order to implement proactive programs to detect non-native insects and other pests and eradicate them before they become widespread threats to native trees.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the United States Conference of Mayors endorses the Invasive Species Revolving Loan Fund championed by Senator Richard Durbin to aid municipalities in their efforts to fight invasive species, and to replace trees and other vegetation damaged as a result of infestation or eradication measures.