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U.S. Spends $120 Billion Annually Controlling Invasive Species?

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posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 03:16 PM
This morning in a sort of rapid-fire, roundabout way, I brought myself to ask some questions about invasive species management.

It started with a conversation about raising tilapia being illegal in Texas, which led to another story about being stopped at the California border by the Dept of Agriculture, which then led me to the question of: Why is invasive species management so important or dangerous, that the USDA has to set up checkpoints and conduct searches for fruits and vegetables?

I looked around, and the first answers I got seemed to tell a story, but one which just leads to more questions. They say if you want to get to the bottom of something, follow the money...

This webpage, apparently part of a student project at Macalester University, states that invasive species management costs the U.S. $120 billion annually, and that invasive species management costs worldwide represent 5% of the global economy.

Macalester .edu Student Project

Wikipedia references a 2005 scientific opinion that also states that the U.S. spends $120 billion. I’m assuming that the ‘student project’ is referencing the Wiki article. The Wiki article references this link as the source of the information”

If anyone here has credentials and/or access to, and wouldn’t mind posting it here, I would love to read it.

Already, the sources for this information seem suspect to me, especially since it seems like the scope of invasive species management is so broad. I’m sorry, but a number like 5% of the total global economy for invasive species management seems a little steep. The USDA website seemed retarded as far as the cost numbers were concerned.

Just my opinion, but it appears evident to me that whenever humans attempt to control the environment as a way of mitigating their own adverse effect on it, we just seem to screw it up more.

As with the case of disease management, where we essentially attempt ‘invasive species control measures’ in the form of antibiotics and antiviral drugs. How many times have you heard of someone trying to self medicate with leftover antibiotics (which if used correctly should not exist), and possibly for something for which antibiotics are useless, like a cold? I hope not many, but in our attempt to control invasive species in our bodies, we’ve made the invasive species stronger, and our bodies weaker.

I’m going to keep looking into the subject, because I really don’t like the idea of being stopped at a state border and being searched for tomatoes.

Please discuss...
edit on 25-11-2013 by Mon1k3r because: badlink

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 03:21 PM
That actually seems realistic, you're talking about pesticides and such too for farming, as well as the means for vaccines and treatment for existing conditions, such as parasites.

So preventive measures, treatment costs, the amount of people that need to get paid for making, delivering, using, all the products.

Doctors, farmers, scientists, truck drivers, plane pilots.

120 billion seems actually pretty cheap the more I keep thinking about it.

I don't think anything nefarious is going on in this dept.

On a separate note, did you know the United States Census is ran from the agriculture budget as well?

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 03:50 PM
Well, it wasn't even at a state boarder, here in MI, when the emerald ash bore was at it's peak. They could stop you on your way up north. You were not allowed to bring wood with you. They could search your truck or trailer if you were hauling wood.
It was/is a very devastating little monster.

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 03:58 PM
Hey why does the fancy insert hyperlink button only work when it wants to?

Is it just me or does it seem like computers do what they want to do more often than they do what we want them to?

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 04:09 PM
2014 USDA Budget

This budget of $146 billion, makes no specific reference to 'invasive species management', but it does refer to protected and endangered species, and boasts all kinds of ways to federalize land, including a reference to enrolling a record number of acreage into conservation programs.

Tried to add more links, quotes from the budget, etc. but the buttons don't work, this UI is jacked.
edit on 25-11-2013 by Mon1k3r because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 04:13 PM
The few times I have been through an ag check point, even going back 30 years, the "officers" have been complete jerks. In fact, they did nothing to endear me to their efforts.

So, if the invasive species is such a problem (it very well could be) why do the enforcement efforts have to be so awful. If one of these "failed to be cops" said to me, "hey, we've got a problem with x, we're trying to make sure the plants in our area do not get infected as it will cause a lot of problems. If you have anything that might harbor said agent of doom, we'd like to know so we can just make sure there are no issues. There is no crime, you cannot be arrested, we just want to help resolve a problem."

Instead what I got was, "got any fruits or vegetables? Where ya comin from?" And that was with a tone suggesting they were looking for an escaped killer. Why do they assume everyone is educated in their cause? Why are they trained not to educated in a friendly "we're all in this together manner" but in a "kill them in they move manner?

Assuming the efforts are important for us all, why is the ag department so "us against them about it? In fact, why is every single government agency like this?

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 04:33 PM
Anyway, I'll just quote some of the good verbiage that I found.

"In the last three years alone, USDA entered into 500,000 conservation agreements and easements
with producers and landowners enrolling a record number of acres in conservation programs.
These agreements help to preserve the soil, improve water quality, and promote wildlife
diversity. These agreements also add hundreds of millions of dollars to local economies in rural
areas and create thousands of jobs for local contracting firms and outdoor recreation operations."

I skimmed the concept of 'easements' when I skimmed this document. There was interesting verbiage regarding that as well. These agreements sound to me like ones where the producer or landowner is limiting their own rights and handing them to the government. Like some kind of soft, gentle landgrab operation.

"Our national forests and grasslands contribute $13.6 billion annually through visitor spending. They are also a source of cultural heritage and are a national treasure."

So what does that say? That we can spend money and also feel good about it? That is just not a well thought out succession of sentences.

This next one's a classic!

Since 2009, USDA has improved more than 170,000 miles of trails and roads on National Forest
System lands and increased the pace of restoration in our National Forests."

If that's not a complete oxymoron, I don't know what an oxymoron is.

I'll keep reading. More to come...
edit on 25-11-2013 by Mon1k3r because: must be filled out!!!

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 05:36 PM
lol well heres my run in with this whole thing (quite funny accutly)
was in a state forest-park .anyway on my way out going down a pved road that when through said park .Stope dthe car ((florida btw)) and dug up a pear catas from the road side ditch .)
ranger rick passes in the other direction seeing me taking said plant.
So begins a turn around a mile or so after he passed me .
I get back into the car look up ahead seeinga moble home being pulled accross teh road get ready to be slightly stuck with the tight turn .So speed up squez by and poor ould ranger rick was stuck wating on moble home lol.
So got away with said catas ((wow close one 25 years hard labor i hear ))

posted on Nov, 25 2013 @ 08:11 PM
reply to post by Mon1k3r

That amount sounds about right to me - and it's nowhere near enough. So much stuff gets through anyway. fyi - checking for produce and plants has been standard at international borders for a very long time. There's probably some kind of new bug in California they haven't told anyone about, so they're checking at state lines. Must be bad. btw - I agree with you about how using meds to attack 'invasive species' in our bodies just creates resistance. It does - but medicating food animals daily is way worse.

posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 10:05 AM
So, I think a point to take from this is that meddling with the environment, especially to mitigate the damage already done, is only going to do more damage. As with antibiotics, we control the little beasts, and they only get stronger, all while our own natural immune systems become weaker.

And spending 5% of the global economy in this effort seems like taking a step back.

I feel that my immune system has an advantage, having been exposed to bugs on five of seven continents, and having eaten dirt in large quantities over long periods of time.

If humans move animals and plants, that's a completely natural thing, there's nothing man can do that is not natural, except deny that they themselves are inextricably linked to nature itself. The more we dream ourselves above nature, the more nature will spank us like the small children we are.

posted on Nov, 26 2013 @ 09:51 PM
reply to post by Mon1k3r

Google is your friend.

2004 Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States

Invading alien species in the United States cause major environmental damages and losses adding up to almost $120 billion per year. There are approximately 50,000 foreign species and the number is increasing. About 42% of the species on the Threatened or Endangered species lists are at risk primarily because of alien-invasive species.

The Chief of the USDA Forest Service has identified invasive species as one of the four critical threats to our Nation’s ecosystems.

Welcome to!The National Invasive Species Council (NISC) was established by Executive Order (EO) 13112 to ensure that Federal programs and activities to prevent and control invasive species are coordinated, effective and efficient. NISC members are the Secretaries and Administrators of 13 federal departments and agencies to provide high-level coordination on invasive species and is co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce, Agriculture, and the Interior (see NISC Organizational Chart). EO 13112 defines invasive species as "…an alien (or non-native) species whose introduction does, or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health". Only a small proportion of non-native species are invasive (See ISAC Definitions White Paper.)

edit on 26/11/13 by soficrow because: format

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