AK House Majority
The 27th Alaska State Legislature, 2011 - 2012  
Press Release: House Majority Press

House Acts to Keep Funding Invasive Species Coordinator

Johnson's HB 97 will Allow Alaska to Stay "Ahead of the Curve" on Eliminating Pests/Plants
Ak Legislative MajorityAk Legislative Majority
Rep. Craig Johnson R-24
Ak House Majority

Rep. Craig Johnson

Chair, (H) RLS Com.
Ak Majority Organization

Ak Majority Organization

Posted: April 5, 2011

(Juneau) - House Bill 97, sponsored by House Rules Chair Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, eliminates the "sunset" provision from law that kept the state coordinator position from being annually-funded. "We are in a favorable position right now compared to other states and our Canadian neighbors," Johnson said. "A lot of the major threats that have devastated crops and ecosystems in other places are not here yet. Alaska has some of the most pristine land and waters in the world and I intend to keep it that way."

Ak St Legislature Majority

Ak St Legislature MajorityAlaska has some of the most pristine land and waters in the world and I intend to keep it that way.
~ Rep. Craig JohnsonAk St Legislature Majority

Ak St Legislature Majority

The mission of the state coordinator is to coordinate public and private efforts to control invasive species before they can infest or take root and destroy sensitive local ecosystems. "It's a proactive approach, where a little investment up front will save the state millions in abatement costs later," Johnson said. "Other places learned that lesson the hard way - but we have the opportunity to do it right here and protect Alaska for comparatively less money."

DNR is now out educating Alaskans and doing abatement projects. The State of Alaska is currently developing a strategic plan to help protect our agricultural, natural and human resources from noxious weeds, invasive terrestrial plants, and pests.

"Invasive species can be trucked in on tires, walked in on the soles of boots, or by boat and plane. They can cripple a landscape and cause irreparable harm," Johnson said. "HB 97 'nips it in the bud' and allows the state to be proactive, instead of sinking millions into a losing battle after it's too late."

HB 97 now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.

# # #
Share |