North Country Now
June 2, 2016

North Country Rep. Stefanik introduces legislation to combat, raise awareness of invasive species

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, has introduced two pieces of legislation to help combat and raise awareness about the threat invasive species pose to North Country ecosystems.

“Our environment is our lifeblood in the North Country and I am committed to preserving it for future generations,” Stefanik said. “These important pieces of legislation will help raise awareness about the threats these invasive species play in our natural ecosystems and will help combat these predators. This is an issue that must be addressed at the local, state and federal level, and I am proud to lead the effort in Congress.”

Stefanik’s district includes St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Fulton, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, Warren and Washington counties, as well as portions of Herkimer and Saratoga counties.

An estimated 50,000 non-native invasive animal and plant species have been introduced to the United States, costing more than $100 billion annually. Additionally, every state and U.S. territory has at least some form of invasive plant or animal tremendously impacting the natural biodiversity of our homes.

Congresswoman Stefanik has introduced the Stamp Out Invasive Species Act which would direct USPS to issue a “Combating Invasive Species Semipostal Stamp.” Net proceeds from the sale of this stamp would be directed to the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior for programs that work to combat invasive species.

Additionally, Congresswoman Stefanik has introduced a resolution expressing the commitment of the House of Representatives to work to combat the nationwide problem of invasive species threatening native ecosystems.

“The Review Board applauds Congresswoman Stefanik for her leadership in introducing a bill today expressing the commitment of the U.S. House of Representatives to work constructively to combat invasive species and the very serious threat they pose to the environment and economy of the nation and the Adirondack region,” said Fred Monroe, Executive Director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board. “Her companion bill to create a semipostal stamp to benefit programs to fight invasive species will help meet the urgent need of volunteers, not-for-profits and local governments for funding to preempt and prevent the introduction and spread of invasives.”

Lee Willbanks, Upper St. Lawrence Riverkeeper & Executive Director Save The River said “The St. Lawrence River, gateway to the Great Lakes, has long been negatively impacted by the unrelenting assault of aquatic invasive species and our watershed now faces unprecedented threats from terrestrial invasives. We, as a community dependent on our water and upland areas for tourism, hunting, fishing and recreation, have appreciated Congresswoman Stefanik’s efforts, from her bi-national invasive species roundtable, to her efforts to prevent the rollback of ballast water regulations, to these two pieces of legislation one to provide additional funding and the other to commit Congress to the fight against further introductions of invasive species.”

Brendan Quirion, Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program Coordinator: “In the Adirondacks, local recreation and tourism based economies are reliant upon clean water and a healthy environment. Mitigating the impacts of invasive species is vitally important in sustaining this landscape into the future for both nature and people. The Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program appreciates Congresswoman Stefanik’s efforts to address the threats that invasive species pose to our region’s economy and ecological heritage.”

Read the entire article here and follow Elise on Twitter and Facebook for more updates.