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News

Terrestrial Plant Rule Update

Emily Anderson

Following the Indiana Invasive Species Council's recent conference, SICIM wanted to share an update on Indiana's draft Terrestrial Plant Rule.  

Special thanks to Ellen Jacquart who compiled the list of suggestions to include when contacting the Governor  Holcomb's office on this issue.  

If you don't know already terrestrial invasive plants are still for sale in Indiana.  We’re spending millions of dollars to control invasive plants in Indiana every year, but most of those invasive plants are still for sale at your local garden shop. Good news – the DNR has drafted a rule that would make it illegal to sell all the highly invasive plants in Indiana.  This rule is currently at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and still has a ways to go before it is approved.  The image below shows how far we have come so far in the process:

 
  Images by Dawn Slack, IN Invasive Species Council

Images by Dawn Slack, IN Invasive Species Council

 

If the proposed rule moves forward through the rule process, the OMB will solicit public comments in evaluating the rule.  At that time, citizens will have an opportunity to comment online, as well as in person during public meetings.  Any comments submitted during that time will follow and be part of the proposed rule through the adoption process.  (See image below.) 

 
Capture2.JPG
 

After the public comment period, the rule will still have a few more steps to go through before it can be adopted.  (See below)

 
Capture3.JPG
 

In summary, keep an eye out for the rule's public comment period.  If you don't like the idea of waiting, below are suggestions by Ellen Jacquart on how to voice your opinion now:

-Go to http://www.in.gov/gov/2752.htm
-Select the topic ‘Natural Resources, Department of’
-Enter your contact information
-Add the message that you would like to see the draft Terrestrial Plant Rule that makes it illegal to sell highly invasive plants in Indiana move forward. Add your reasons why. Suggestions-

• Invasive plants cost money. A 2012 survey of 120 agencies and landowners in Indiana found we spent $5.7 million to manage these species and protect our natural areas. Nationally, agricultural and control costs due to invasive plants are estimated at $15 billion per year. Each year the cost grows. And yet we continue to allow the sale of these damaging species.
• Invasive plants hurt wildlife by crowding out the plants our native animals need for food and cover.
• Most invasive shrubs and trees are little used by native insects. This reduces habitat for beneficial pollinators and predatory insects, as well as reducing the amount of food available for birds to feed their nestlings.
• Invasive plants destroy habitat for rare wildflowers and animals, threatening two-thirds of all endangered species.
• Invasive plants can become weedy in a home garden, crowding out other landscaping.
• Invasive plants can also decrease your ability to enjoy hunting, fishing, mushroom collecting, bird-watching, and many other recreational pursuits by crowding forest floors and choking waterways.
• Tell your story of the invasive plants you are fighting to control, and why it is important to you that invasive plants not be sold in Indiana.
-Hit Submit. You’re done!
Thank you for your help.