Invasive Species Threat: Governor’s Council & House Ag Raise Alarm on Non-Native Plants and Insects Imperiling Our Ecosystem

AMBLER, Sept. 8 — The House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee met with the Governor’s Invasive Species Council to hold a joint hearing on invasive species in Pennsylvania at Temple University’s Ambler Campus.

The United States is an unfortunate worldwide leader in the spread and propagation of invasive species, including invasive plants, insects, and birds. In Pennsylvania, these species outcompete native species, diminishing our natural biodiversity and negatively changing our environment. The cost to manage these invasive species grows each and every year, adversely affecting our Commonwealth both ecologically and economically.

Committee chair Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski and members heard testimony on the proliferation and impacts of invasive species, and suggestions on building a proactive, regional partnership to combat them, from the Department of Agriculture, local government, and industry partners, including:

  • Jocelyn Behm, Assistant Professor of Biology, Temple University
  • Kathy Salisbury, Director, Ambler Arboretum
  • Fred Strathmeyer, Deputy Secretary for Plant Industry and Consumer Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
  • Cliff Lane, McKean County Commissioner and Board Member, Pennsylvania County Commissioners Association
  • Matt Gabler, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Forest Products Association
  • Dr. Lea Johnson, Associate Director, Land Stewardship and Ecology, Longwood Gardens

After the hearing, members of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and Governor’s Invasive Species Council toured sites at Ambler Field Station where Temple University is conducting invasive species research and management.

A recording of the committee hearing can be found on the committee archives web page.