We support a comprehensive state policy addressing the introduction and management of invasive species. Programs should rely on cooperative, voluntary, partnership-based efforts between public agencies, private landowners, and concerned citizens.
Michigan Farm Bureau supports the reestablishment of the Michigan Invasive Species Advisory Council, with producer representation. In the absence of such action, we support legislation to create a board of plant and animal health with authority to address invasive species and help educate the public to prevent the spread of these species in Michigan.
We support the role of the Agriculture and Natural Resource Commissions in establishing the prohibited species list.
Any statutory policy changes and control measures to deal with invasive species should be based on the following:
We believe federal, state and local agencies and research institutions should work more closely with private landowners to control or eradicate invasive species. We recommend the Department of Natural Resources notify all levels of local government and gain their support before releasing a non-native species. Any invasive species program that is proposed should not create additional restrictions on agriculture producers and landowners. We support efforts to establish the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, with input from appropriate industry associations, as the state agency with responsibility for all terrestrial invasive species.
Invasive species should not be defined to include agricultural products or other beneficial non-native species.
Consideration should be given to the extent to which species may be naturalized in an environment. Any penalties associated with introductions must be realistic.
We support substantial efforts by the state of Michigan to work with other agencies to stop the invasion of the Asian Carp into Michigan waters.
Michigan should not establish ballast water discharge standards that are more restrictive than neighboring Great Lakes States or Canadian Provinces. Michigan’s standards should reflect the federal standards which are enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard.