AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES TASK FORCE
WESTERN REGIONAL PANEL
BUILDING CONSENSUS IN THE WEST
The Building Consensus in the West Workgroup was a multi-year process to facilitate an ongoing discussion among State ANS Coordinators and the National Park Service to produce science-based standard protocols and procedures for preventing the further spread of zebra and quagga mussels in the west via recreational watercraft, in tandem with the development of a legal framework for watercraft inspection and decontamination programs. The overarching purpose of BC, and the resulting actions and work products, was to achieve greater consistency among western state agencies implementing watercraft inspection and decontamination for zebra and quagga mussels both in management practices and with respect to legal parameters. The idealized target was to have common capabilities among and between managing entities to accomplish the overarching objectives of (1) achieving maximum resource protection against ZQM and other ANS, (2) providing optimal customer service to outdoor recreationists by gaining consistency in requirements across the west for the boating public, and (3) increasing efficiencies and effectiveness of ANS programs.
Although BC discussions took place in several forums and different venues over the years, the dialogue focused primarily on coordination and collaboration among states and NPS. Participants recognized the importance of other federal and state coordination and cooperation interests, as well as working with local governments, tribes, and private industry to achieve these broad objectives.
Much of the work conducted through Building Consensus was funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
National Invasive Species Advisory Committee
The National Invasive Species Council (NISC) was established by Executive Order (EO) 13112 to ensure that Federal programs and activities to prevent and control invasive species are coordinated, effective and efficient.
NISC members are the Secretaries and Administrators of 13 federal departments and agencies to provide high-level coordination on invasive species and is co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture, and the Interior. EO 13112 defines invasive species as "…an alien (or non-native) species whose introduction does, or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health". Only a small proportion of non-native species are invasive (See ISAC Definitions White Paper). NISC receives advice from and consults with the Invasive Species Advisory Committee, a group of non-federal experts and stakeholders chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972.
Other Important NISC actions and duties include:
Drafting of the Interdepartmental Invasive Species Performance Budget
Reviewing progress under the Plan and EO 13112 (see the Five-Year Review of EO 13112)
Working with the Department of State to provide input for international invasive species standards
Additional information on invasive species and related topics is available at www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov, an information center maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Library.