A News Release from the Maryland Department of Agriculture FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Julie Oberg, 410-841-5888 or Vanessa Orlando, 410-841-5889 MEETING NOTICE: Invasive Plant Advisory Committee to Meet for First Time General Assembly Created Committee to Develop Risk Assessment Protocols ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 23, 2012) - The Maryland Department of Agriculture's (MDA) Invasive Plants Advisory Committee, established during the 2011 Legislative Session as an advisory body to the Secretary, will meet for the first time on Friday, January 27, at 9 a.m. at MDA headquarters in Annapolis. The Committee's charge is to advise the Secretary on regulations that should be adopted to establish a risk assessment protocol for invasive plants and to establish lists of invasive plants using the protocol. This first meeting will focus on organizing the 11-member committee and setting goals and timelines for completing the first year's task for establishing a science-based risk assessment protocol for invasive plants.
"The nursery and landscape industry is the second largest agriculture sector in Maryland, second only to our poultry industry," said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. "It is critical that we do all we can to prevent and control the potential damage that invasive plants can inflict on our plant and animal communities in natural areas, wildlands, managed areas, farms and even the backyards of residents. The members of this committee have considerable expertise and experience with invasive plants and they are well regarded within industry. I look forward to receiving their recommendations."
The committee is chaired by Carol Holko, MDA's Assistant Secretary of Plant Industries and Pest Management. The full text of the bill which created the committee can be found at: http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/chapters_noln/Ch_142_hb0831T.pdf.