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Rep. Young Introduces Invasive Species Act



Washington, D.C.Alaskan Congressman Don Young has introduced H.R. 4782, the Invasive Species Emergency Response Fund Act.  This legislation seeks to direct the Secretary of the Interior to provide loans to certain organizations in certain States to address habitats and ecosystems and to address and prevent invasive species.  

“Being proactive is a cheaper method of prevention and control than being reactive,” said Rep. Young.  “Non-native, potentially invasive species that harm our ecosystems are reaching our states and communities at growing rates.  The State of Alaska has already taken steps towards the prevention of these invasive species; this bill will continue to help Alaska, as well as assist other Western states, as they look to put a stop to the decimation of land by these species.  Through coordinated efforts by agencies and local groups, we can identify outbreaks early and respond to them quickly to reduce costs.  This bill will give the proper groups access to needed funding when a problem is identified, making our lands a better place for all residents.”

Funding Criteria
The bill has a set of eleven funding criteria.  The most notable include those types of invasive species projects that:
•   Protect unique habitats like alpine and desert terminal lakes.
•   Avert the spread of aquatic invasive species within the Colorado River.
•   Promote better wildfire strategies and reintroduce native species.
•   Reduce changes in wildlife habitat.

Funding
The process for securing funds has three tiers:
•   An organization or municipality submits an application to the Governor’s office.  
•   The Governor’s office forwards its collected applications that meet the necessary requirements to the Secretary of the Interior for review.
•   The Secretary of Interior reviews the submitted applications and provides funding to those he deems meet the greatest number of selection criteria.  Those funds may be distributed directly to the local applicant.

Eligible States
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

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