Update: this bill passed the Assembly on a vote of (74-0-0).
We just learned that the New Jersey Assembly is scheduled to vote this Thursday, May 25 on a bill to ban the sale of invasive species in our state. A NJ Senate vote should follow in the coming weeks. We have a real chance of banning the sale of invasive species in our state.
Please ask your NJ Assembly and Senate representatives to vote YES on bill S2186/A3677, which would regulate the sale of invasive plant species and establish an Invasive Species Council that will develop an invasive species management strategy.
Last December, NPSNJ endorsed a New Jersey Forest Stewardship Task Force Invasives Species Subgroup proposal to strengthen the original version of this bill, and the NJ Senate Environment and Energy Committee advanced the bill out of committee with amendments, including to reinstate the NJ Invasive Species Council. But the revised text of the bill still did not address key concerns.
Since then, the Invasives Subcommittee and collaborating stakeholders—including the NJ Nursery and Landscaping Association (NJNLA) and the NJ Farm Bureau—have achieved agreement to request further amendments to:
- Expand the strategic intent to include all invasive taxa, not only plants
- Clarify the role and functioning of the Invasive Species Council
- Include a clear role for the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (in addition to the NJ Department of Agriculture, already named in the bill), for implementation and enforcement
- Seek a clearer process to regularly add to the initial list of banned species—so that emerging species can be addressed.
- Include regulatory exemptions for specific non-invasive cultivars of certain regulated plant species.
Politics involves compromise and negotiation and while many of our members may be unhappy with #5, this is a compromise that was worked out with NJNLA.
Please let your legislators know that you support this bill. Spread the word! Share this message with your friends, family, and social networks, encouraging them to join our cause.
Find your representatives for your district here: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/district-map
You can personalize the following text to email your representatives, although it’s even more effective to call them, write them a postcard, or write them an e-mail you have crafted yourself
Dear [Senator/Representative’s Name],
I am a constituent and urge you to vote “Yes” to enact S2186/A3677 that “Prohibits purchase, sale, distribution, import, export, or propagation of certain invasive species without permit from Department of Agriculture or Department of Environmental Protection; establishes NJ Invasive Species Council.”
Invasive species are considered the second greatest threat to biodiversity after outright habitat destruction. New Jersey has been severely impacted by a wide variety of invasive species causing harm to agricultural, forest and natural lands, leading to economic and ecological losses.
Enactment of this legislation will make New Jersey the 46th state to regulate invasive plants and establish a permanent council of qualified and experienced stakeholders to evaluate, develop strategy, and make management recommendations to manage the serious and growing threat of invasive species of all kinds more effectively and efficiently.
This law will be effective, efficient, flexible, and fair. It incorporates amendments developed by the New Jersey Forest Task Force (co-chaired by NJ Audubon, the NJ Conservation Foundation, NJ Sierra Club, and the NJ Forestry Association) in collaboration with the New Jersey Nursery and Landscape Association and the New Jersey Farm Bureau, in consultation with NJDEP, NJDA, and the NJ Board of Agriculture.
More than 40 conservation organizations across all of New Jersey cosigned a May 15, 2023, request to legislative leaders and bill sponsors to move this forward.
Thank you for your consideration and action,