Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council



There are many groups seeking funding to combat invasive species. The common perception is that funding for invasive species control is very limited. However, there is $443 million is the 2005 Federal budget for invasive species control. In total, there is $1.169 billion in the 2005 Federal budget for early detection and rapid response, assessment, control, monitoring and research of invasive species. There are many mechanisms and sources of funding for invasive species control. The key to accessing funding is to understand the programs and sources available.

Key Steps to Acquire Funding -

There are several steps that will enhance an organization's success gaining funding for invasive species control. The first step is to create an organization with diverse membership that can receive funding. If this has not been accomplished, organizing a state summit meeting for all stakeholders is a good first step. The goal of this summit is to begin communication among interested parties that will result in establishment of areas of cooperation, create invasive species priorities and develop demonstration projects. The next step is to request and gain funding for a demonstration project. A legislative tour of the demonstration project will create awareness of the invasive species problem with key funding decision makers within the state. Finally, a comprehensive state management plan should be developed with the goal of creating a perpetual funding mechanism for invasive species control.

Funding Sources -

The mechanisms and sources of funding for invasive species control include; earmarks, new legislation, grants, foundations, endowments, conservation and wildlife organizations, private industry and local community groups. Mississippi and Alabama have successfully acquired funding through earmarks via Senator Cochran and the Alabama State Conservationist. The Noxious Weed Control and Eradication Act of 2004 is an example of new legislation that has authorized but not appropriated $15 million per year for the next 5 years for invasive species control. Most farm bill programs have an invasive species control component. However, each state technical committee must approve invasive species control as a funding priority. The EQIP and WHIP programs are the most readily accessible programs for invasive species control. There are many grant programs through USDA, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and NOAA. While each program varies, many are accessible by private landowners, local and state governments and NGO's. Endowments and Foundations are often overlooked as a funding source. While these funds are not usually specific to invasive species control, they can be accessed through broad ecosystem restoration project proposals. Conservation and Wildlife organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Quail Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation have been leaders in organizing invasive species control projects. Local industry and community groups can form the backbone of matching funding for invasive species programs. Successful fund raising should be tied to a local priority such as a city park or historic site to generate interest in invasive species control.

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