[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 48 (Monday, March 12, 2001)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14412-14413]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-5979]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of the Secretary


National Invasive Species Council

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Interior.

ACTION: Final Version of the National Invasive Species Management Plan; 
Notice of Availability.

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SUMMARY: The National Invasive Species Council is announcing the 
availability of the final version of the National Invasive Species 
Management Plan, ``Meeting the Challenge.''

DATES: The National Invasive Species Management Plan was approved on 
January 18, 2001.

ADDRESSES: National Invasive Species Council, 1951 Constitution Avenue 
NW., Suite 320, Washington, DC 20240.
    The final version of the National Invasive Species Management Plan 
is available on the Council's website, http://www.invasivespecies.gov. 
Copies may be obtained by contacting the Council Staff at (202) 208-
6336; fax at (202) 208-1526; or e-mail at invasivespecies@ios.doi.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelsey Passe, Program Analyst, 
National Invasive Species Council; E-mail: Kelsey Passe@ios.doi.gov; 
Phone (202) 208-6336; Fax: (202) 208-1526.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 13112 on Invasive Species 
established the National Invasive

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Species Council (Council), which is chaired by the Secretaries of 
Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior and includes the Departments of 
State, Treasury, Defense, and Transportation and the Environmental 
Protection Agency. The Order directed the Secretary of the Interior to 
establish an Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC) including 
diverse stakeholders to advise the Council. The Order applies to all 
Federal agencies whose actions may affect the status of invasive 
species and requires agencies to identify such actions and to the 
extent practicable and permitted by law (1) take actions specified in 
the Order to address the problem consistent with their authorities and 
budgetary resources; and (2) not authorize, fund, or carry out actions 
that they believe are likely to cause or promote the introduction or 
spread of invasive species in the United States or elsewhere unless, 
``pursuant to guidelines that it has prescribed, the agency has 
determined and made public its determination that the benefits of such 
actions clearly outweigh the potential harm caused by invasive species; 
and that all feasible and prudent measures to minimize risk of harm 
will be taken in conjunction with the actions.'' Although Executive 
Order 13112 applies to all Federal agencies, most of the duties 
required by the Executive Order are the responsibility of the eight 
Council Departments.
    The Council was directed by the President to release the first 
edition of a National Invasive Species Management Plan (Plan) 18 months 
after the Order was issued, and to include performance-oriented goals 
and objectives and specific measures of success for Federal agency 
efforts concerning invasive species, update the Plan biennially, and 
evaluate and report on the success in achieving the goals and 
objectives of the Plan. The Plan is also to identify the personnel, 
other resources, and additional levels of coordination needed to 
achieve its goals and objectives. The purpose of the Plan is to provide 
a blueprint for Federal action in coordination with State, local, and 
private programs and international cooperation to prevent the 
introduction of invasive species, provide for their control, and 
minimize their economic, environmental, and human health impacts. The 
focus of the Plan is on those non-native species that cause or may 
cause significant negative impacts and do not provide an equivalent 
benefit to society.
    In preparing the first edition of the Plan, the Council engaged in 
extensive consultation with many organizations and individuals with 
differing interests. Valuable guidance came from ISAC and members of 
six working groups made up of both Federal and non-federal experts 
under the auspices of the Advisory Committee, including: (1) 
International, (2) communication, outreach, and education, (3) policy 
and regulation, (4) risk analysis and prevention, (5) management, and 
(6) research, information sharing, documentation, and monitoring. The 
Plan contains a number of actions recommended by the working groups and 
discussed in the reports of the groups which are posted on the 
Council's website. The Council also heard from a wide range of 
organizations and individuals at five public listening sessions held in 
July 2000 around the country and through numerous written comments.
    A draft Plan was made available for comment on the Council's 
website in early August of 2000, before the deadline set by the 
Executive Order. However, due to extensive revisions made in response 
to public comment and delays in hiring Council staff, the final version 
was not issued until January 18, 2001. On October 2, 2000, a Federal 
Register notice (65 FR 58783-58784) announced the availability of the 
draft Plan. In that notice, the Council solicited comments on the Plan 
for 45 days ending on November 16, 2000. In response to a number of 
requests submitted by interested persons, the Council extended the 
comment period by 15 days in a second notice published in the Federal 
Register on November 16, 2000 (65 FR 69320).
    By December 1, 2000, the close of the extended comment period, the 
Council had received a total of 181 written comments. The comments were 
from private citizens; a Native American association; businesses and 
industry groups; academic institutions; scientific, conservation, and 
other non-governmental organizations; State, local, and Federal 
Government agencies; and several public/private partnerships. The 
commenters generally supported the goals of the Executive Order and the 
Plan; however, nearly all of the commenters offered specific opinions, 
suggestions, or criticisms regarding the content of the draft Plan.
    The Council carefully considered each of the comments received and 
made numerous changes to the Plan to reflect many of the points raised 
in the comments. In some cases, however, commenters brought up issues 
that were outside the scope of the Plan, made specific recommendations 
regarding detailed operational matters, or questioned why the 
activities of particular groups were either mentioned or overlooked. 
Other commenters sought firm funding or action commitments that cannot 
be made until the implementation stage of the Plan. Wherever possible 
and appropriate, the Council will consider those comments that were not 
integrated into the final version of the Plan that deal with 
implementation issues during the implementation phase of the Plan.
    The first edition of the Plan provides a general blueprint for 
action to deal with the threats posed by invasive species; however, 
many of the details of the actions called for will require further 
development in the implementation phase. At that point, specific 
measures of success, as well as the personnel and other resources 
needed to achieve the Plan's goals, will be described. The action items 
included in the Plan outline an array of prospective approaches for 
preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species. The Plan 
provides for development of an oversight mechanism to ensure agency 
accountability and calls on Council Departments to submit annual 
reports summarizing their progress in implementing the Plan.
    The final version of the Plan was approved by the eight Council 
member agencies on January 18, 2001, and is now available to the 
public. The Plan is available on the Council's website; in addition, 
you may request a hard copy of the Plan by contacting the Council 
staff. In the near future, printed copies of the Plan will be made 
available and an order form will be posted on the Council's website.
    Specific information regarding the availability of the Plan can be 
found in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

Lori Williams,
Executive Director, National Invasive Species Council.
[FR Doc. 01-5979 Filed 3-9-01; 8:45 am]
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