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Cary Institute asks federal government for hearings on invasive species

Aug 23, 2022 12:30 am
Lauren Harkawik is reporting in the Times Union the Cary Institute, a local nonprofit environmental organization, has asked Congress for a hearing on why the government’s current practices for limiting invasive pests are not working. Invasive pests like the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle pose irreversible threats to the state's forest ecosystems by targeting native trees and, in some cases, threatening to wipe them out for good. The pests primarily enter the country through packaging used in international trade, is “one of the most severe and urgent threats facing U.S. trees,” according to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, based in Millbrook, Dutchess County.  In July, the institute delivered a petition with more than 1,700 signatures to the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture committees requesting a Congressional hearing on invasive forest pests. Cary's Dr. Gary Lovett said last week that he wants Congress to investigate what is currently being done and why government agencies' current practices for keeping invasive pests out are not working. Asked why he thinks current practices are not working, Lovett said the government is not being firm enough in its regulatory standards for international trade. International trade is how most invasive pests get into the country, often through wooden packaging, such as wood pallets. Pests like emerald ash borer and hemlock woolly adelgid could dramatically change the forest landscape of the Northeast, and New York is the hardest hit in the country. Emerging major concerns, Lovett said, are the spotted lanternfly, which attacks grapes and apples, and the Asian longhorned beetle, which attacks maples. Read the full story in the Times Union.
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