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Invasive species bill is a key vote

Published Apr. 15, 2014 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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Buckeye Farm News

Invasive species can have a detrimental impact on farms, and Senate Bill 192 is a step in combating the problem. Sponsored by Sen. Gayle Manning , the bill granted exclusive authority to regulate invasive plant species to Ohio’s director of agriculture. The bill has passed the senate and is awaiting a floor vote in the house.

Farm Bureau policy has long called for coordination among state and federal agencies and private landowners to combat invasive species. Giving this authority to the ODA, which has technical expertise needed, is a step in that direction. Ohio Farm Bureau designated the bill a “key vote,” meaning it will be used in the organization’s process of evaluating lawmakers’ responsiveness to agriculture.

“Farm Bureau believes a successful invasive species prevention program must effectively coordinate actions among federal agencies, it must support state and local invasive species control efforts and provide appropriate tools to combat invasive species,” Ohio Farm Bureau Director of State Policy Brandon Kern said in testimony to the Senate Ag Committee. “Senate Bill 192 is a practical approach to accomplishing a portion of this goal at the state level.”

Kern said it’s important to develop a clear definition of invasive species, which is not the same as a “non-native” species. The definition of invasive species in SB 192 achieves this by including clear standards.

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