I am asking you to help keep the National Invasive Species Information Center website program up, funded and operational. (NISIC) which is a program of USDA-ARS NAL, is under the financial knife and as part of the incessant focus on cutting the federal programs this vital infrastructure is now targeted to help off set deficit spending in other places in the government. The idea that information for the public good should be privatized is wrong on so many levels, but here with invasive species because of the global nature and local consequence, only a public site can provide equal access to all users.
Please add a comment to this post, and write to the Secretary of Agriculture and the US Congress. If you have time, write to USDA ARS NAL directly. I have rarely asked for anything, but now we have little time. Please add your comments to this posting today. Just a few words...volume is what counts. KEEP NISIC FUNDED is all you have to say, but of course telling them why it is important helps too.
USDA email contact information at: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?edeployment_action=changenav&navid=FEEDBACK_FORM.
Tell them to find the money to keep information freely flowing.
NISIC is the gateway to invasive species information; covering Federal, State, local, and international sources. Most of the work on invasive species has long since been defunded and is now handled by volunteers who valiantly war against novel non indigenous species that are wreaking havoc and altering our ecosystems and the services they provide. The volunteers will be in no position to spend money to access information on early detection, rapid response, control methods, taxonomic, regulatory, and legislative initiatives if we privatize this information, and, because the volunteers have no money, accordingly it will not be offered.
At the NISIC website, you can keep current on the following invasive species issues:
Also on the NISIC website you can:
o Read the Executive Order 13112 (established the National Invasive Species Council)
· Learn About Plant Names and Taxonomy (USDA, NAL)