Keeping An Eye On Washington’s Invasive Species
15th District State Senator Jim Honeyford has been about the business of serving the public for a very long time...in education, law enforcement and politics. He has a quiet easy going manner but his eye is always on the ball so
In a Senate press release, staffers put it this way, "If they had boots, murder hornets, apple maggots and African clawed frogs would be shaking in them at today’s news from the state Legislature. In a unanimous vote, the House of Representatives approved Sen. Jim Honeyford’s bill to extend the life of the Washington State Invasive Species Council and its mission to protect the state’s environment and economy from harmful nonnative plants, insects and animals."
The founding idea for the council was a five run to provide policy, planning, and coordination on how to a minimizing the effects of harmful invasive species.
The Council's website clarifies the problem: "Invasive species are not native to Washington and were brought here by someone or something. Because they are new to this state, natural predators often don’t exist, allowing them to spread at alarming rates." Most non-native species do more good than harm such as farm animals and crops. However there is a handful of non-native species which do cause problems and they include plants, animals, insects or organisms that spread so quickly that they harm other wildlife.
One of the most recent invaders to Washington State is the highly publicized Murder Hornet discovered in Whatcom County. Senator Honeyford cites the nasty, winged, six-legged bee killing beast as a prime example of why the Invasive Species Council is so critical to our state.
The Legislature initially intended for the council to disband at the end of 2011. Two extensions moved the end date to June 30, 2022. Under Honeyford's Senate Bill 5063, the expiration date of the Washington State Invasive Species Council and Invasive Species Council Account would be extended to June 30, 2032.
Invasive species extract a heavy price from ag producers. Each year the United States experiences $137 billion in crop damage. To find out more about exotic pests, visit the Washington Department of Agriculture’s Web site.