The following is an excerpt from the New Jersey Monitor.
Environmentalists who have pressed the state for years to revive a long-defunct council to fight invasive plants and animals scored a victory Thursday when lawmakers agreed the New Jersey Invasive Species Council should be reestablished.
New Jersey is one of just five states nationally that has no statewide regulations or strategy to ban or contain invasive species, which degrade forests and have caused $1.3 trillion in damages globally in the past four decades, according to the New Jersey Forest Task Force.
New York and Pennsylvania already do such work, which makes New Jersey’s inaction more egregious, said Laura Bush of the nonprofit Native Plant Society of New Jersey.
“Critically, we’re behind our neighbors, so we’re contributing massively to the problem while our neighbors are trying to control it,” Bush said. “Invasive plant species are a serious environmental problem.”
Members of the Senate environment committee were discussing a bill sponsored by Sens. Bob Smith and Linda Greenstein, both Democrats from Middlesex County, that would ban the sale, distribution, or propagation of certain invasive plants without a state permit.
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