MADISON - A draft statewide strategic plan to guide Wisconsin state agencies and partners in responding to the threat of invasive species to state ecosystems, recreational opportunities and economic sectors is now available for public comment.
The draft was developed by the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council, which includes representatives from state agencies and seven private members from industry, the university system and nongovernmental organizations.
The plan provides an overarching strategy that individual agency and partner plans can draw from and that is supportive of successful ongoing work in Wisconsin, according to Paul Schumacher, chair of the council and a member of Wisconsin Lakes, from Door County.
"Invasive species like the emerald ash borer, Eurasian water-milfoil and garlic mustard harm our environment, cost billions of dollars annually across the nation and threaten core Wisconsin business sectors such as agriculture, tourism, forestry and energy. The list of invasive species 'knocking at our door' continues to grow," Schumacher says.
"Our state agency and partner groups are doing a lot individually and together to help prevent the introduction and spread of new invasive species and to control ones already established here. This statewide plan identifies common themes and areas of shared interest where increased cooperation can help achieve even more progress."
Schumacher says the draft strategy is not intended to replace existing project or species specific plans, and in fact was developed with the help of 32 experts representing 15 organizations involved in invasive species control.
The plan and all discussion summaries can be found on the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council website under the "Strategic Plan."
To provide comments or for more information please contact Mindy Wilkinson, DNR's invasive species coordinator, at Melinda.Wilkinson@wisconsin.gov, or 608-266-6437; or Paul Schumacher, Chair of the Wisconsin Invasive Species Council, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 920-823-2109.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Mindy Wilkinson (608) 266-6437