Prevent Introduction of New Pests and Diseases
Recommendations on Federal Regulations Governing Imports of Living Plants (Q-37)
To: Continental Dialogue on Non-native Forest Insects and Diseases
From: Workgroup #1 – Prevent Introduction of New Pests and Diseases
Subject: Consensus Recommendations on Federal Regulations Governing Imports of Living Plants (Q-37)
In January 2007, the Continental Dialogue adopted a Vision which included the following goal:
Importation of live plants is a major pathway by which forest pests are introduced. Examples of damaging forest pests introduced via this pathway include Chestnut blight, white pine blister rust, Port-Orford-cedar root disease, Phytophthora ramorum/Sudden Oak Death, and the wiliwili gall wasp. It is therefore important to curtail introductions via this pathway.
Why it is Important to Address the Problem
At its January 2007 meeting, the Dialogue specifically identified the live plant importation pathway as the highest priority because of its significance and the opportunity to engage in on-going governmental efforts to improve management of this pathway. Workgroup #1 was requested to develop a consensus position on the relevant rulemaking. The Workgroup members believed that Dialogue engagement will not only improve the quality of the final regulation; it will also enhance recognition of the Dialogue as an important stakeholder in pest prevention.
Outline of Potential Solutions and Strategies
The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
is responsible for preventing introductions of plant pests
through various pathways. APHIS exercises its jurisdiction over
one such pathway - plant imports - through a section of the
agency’s regulations that governs the importation of nursery
plants, roots, bulbs, and seeds. This section is called the
“Q-37” regulations. APHIS has begun to revise the Q-37
regulations, thus providing opportunities for input by Dialogue
What You Can Do
Dialogue participants are encouraged to convey the consensus
position to policymakers and other stakeholders, so as to
advance discussion of the live plant pathway and ways to curtail
introductions via that pathway. Efforts to propagate the
consensus position are likely to have the greatest impact if
they are carried out by ad hoc coalitions of stakeholder
organizations. For example, six Dialogue participants
representing conservation, nursery, and forest products
entities met with USDA APHIS leadership in October 2007 to
present the consensus position and discuss next steps. Other
meetings with USDA officials are anticipated.
The Dialogue’s Workgroup #1 welcomes your engagement in its efforts and help in implementing programs aimed at curtailing introductions of additional non-native forest pests.