WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-Brunswick, and U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, have led the reintroduction of bipartisan legislation to preserve New York’s natural resources from the threat of invasive species, according to a news release.
The legislation, the Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act, would allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service greater authority to regulate non-native species and prohibit them from being imported or sold in the United States. Gillibrand originally introduced this act in the 114th Congress with late-U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, who passed away on March 16.
“Whether it’s Asian Carp in our lakes or the Emerald Ash Borer in our forests, invasive species threaten our environment and our economy, and we have to do everything we can to block them from coming into our state,” said Sen. Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “The Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act would help better protect our precious natural resources, strengthen our economy, draw tourism to our state and provide clean drinking water to New Yorkers.”
Invasive species pose a serious threat to New York’s natural resources, the release said. Asian Carp threaten the well-being of the Great Lakes ecosystems, which provide drinking water to more than 30 million Americans, support a $7 billion fishing industry and a $15.5 billion boating industry and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
“As the co-chair of the Bipartisan Invasive Species Caucus, I am pleased to join Sen. Gillibrand in introducing this bicameral bill to protect our North Country environment,” Stefanik said. “Combating invasive species helps keep our natural habitats healthy for future generations to enjoy, and also ensures that these environmental treasures continue to attract tourism, sportsmen and commerce to our region.”
More than 200 species are listed as “injurious wildlife.” The legislation would address the threat of potentially invasive species before they can be imported into the United States or enter into interstate commerce by establishing a new injurious species listing process that is based on the scientific risk analysis.