The Arizona Invasive Species Advisory Council was created in April 2005 by Governor Napolitano to address the challenges that invasive species pose for the state’s natural areas and wildlife. The 21-member council, led by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Arizona Department of Agriculture, is tasked with coordinating a unified management plan among multiple stakeholders for invasive species in the state by June 2008. Game and Fish Director Larry Voyles co-chairs the council.
The Council’s definition of invasive species for Arizona is a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration, and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health. Quagga mussels, golden algae and the parasite that causes whirling disease in trout are all examples of invasive species. When introduced to new areas, they can have a devastating effect on plants and wildlife already living in the vicinity.
The Council encourages members of other agencies and the public with an interest in invasive species to attend meetings and participate in work groups. The work groups were created to address the five strategic concepts to be included in the statewide management plan. The five concepts are Leadership and Coordination, Research and Information Management, Anticipation and Outreach, Control and Management, and Funding.
For more information on the Council, visit www.governor.state.az.us/AIS/. Anyone wishing to participate in Council activities should contact Tom McMahon at (623) 236-7271.