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Science Policy

WSSA members Lee Van Wychen and Mike Owen pause for a photo op with Sen. Herb Kohl (WI), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, along with other participants from the CoFARM-BESC Congressional Visits Day. (Front row, l to r) Sarah Evans (ASA-CSSA-SSSA); Sen. Herb Kohl; Sarah Wright (AIBS). (Back row, l to r) Lee Van Wychen (WSSA), Mike Owen (WSSA), Maynard Hogberg (FASS).

Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., is the WSSA Director of Science Policy

See the latest Science Policy Reports, Committee Conference calls, Weed and Invasive Plant Reports and Government Accountability Office reports here.

    • Press Release: The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) has petitioned Congress to rescind a last-minute change to the recently approved 2008 Farm Bill that threatens Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Programs throughout the United States. Read more
    • Position Statement: The Weed Science Society of America is advocating an immediate change in the amendment to the 2008 Farm Bill to restore formula funding for the Extension IPM program. We encourage our members to contact elected and appointed government officials and other influential constituents in their state to discuss the benefits of Extension IPM programming, the damage the new funding model causes and the importance of maintaining a stable, efficient nationwide IPM network. Read more
  • REPORT – EVERY $1 INVESTED IN AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH RETURNS $10 WORTH OF BENEFITS TO THE ECONOMY
    Over the last several decades, the U.S. agricultural sector has sustained impressive productivity growth. The Nation’s agricultural research system, including Federal-State public research as well as private-sector research, has been a key driver of this growth. Economic analysis finds strong and consistent evidence that investment in agricultural research has yielded high returns per dollar spent.
  • WSSA REPORT – DETERMINATION OF THE POTENTIAL IMPACT FROM THE RELEASE OF GLYPHOSATE- AND GLUFOSINATE-RESISTANT AGROSTIS STOLONIFERA L. IN VARIOUS CROPS AND NON-CROP ECOSYSTEMS
    The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) was asked by the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) to perform an analysis of the weed management implications associated with the potential deregulation and commercialization of glyphosate and glufosinate-resistant creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) varieties. This analysis is needed to determine the current and potential significance of creeping bentgrass, and other species with which it can hybridize (several other Agrostis spp. and Polypogon spp.), as weeds in managed and non-managed ecosystems in the United States. The analysis deliberately focused exclusively on the weed management implications of the potential release of these creeping bentgrass varieties and did not attempt to assess other associated environmental and economic considerations. The Weed Science Society of America does not endorse or oppose the proposed deregulation of glyphosate- or glufosinate-creeping bentgrass. The information contained in this report does not represent a position for or against the technology and should not be interpreted as such. This work was done at the request of USDA/APHIS to provide science-based information for their use as a regulatory agency.
  • WSSA PRESS RELEASE – BIOFUEL CROPS: PANACEA OR PANDORA’S BOX?
    It’s a Cinderella story. Weeds, scorned and trod on for years and persistently excluded from the manicured gardens and uniform crops of respectable horticultural and agricultural society are fast becoming the darlings of a burgeoning biofuel industry. But not all fairytales have a happy ending.
  • WSSA WHITE PAPER – BIOFUELS AND INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES
    A variety of plant species from a range of taxa, including crops and wild plants, are being considered for use as biofuels. It is important to consider not only the economic and social benefits of these species, but the potential risks associated with their introduction and propagation.
  • ASSESSING THE RISK OF INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES PROMOTED FOR BIOFUELS
    by The Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP)

    Many countries are currently looking at growing high-yielding crops for the production of biofuels as alternatives to traditional fuels (petrol and diesel) to address imminent shortages and reduce impacts of climate change. If these initiatives are not carefully assessed, however, promoting the cultivation of some popular species for biofuel production will increase two of the major causes of biodiversity loss on the planet: clearing and conversion of yet more natural areas for monocultures, and invasion by non-native species.
  • INVASIVE SPECIES FUNDING
    USDA ERS has released a report that reviews 2003-2006 funding and activities for the ERS Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM).
    Organization: USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS)
    Summary: In 2003, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) initiated the Program of Research on the Economics of Invasive Species Management (PREISM) to examine the economics of managing invasive pests in increasingly global agricultural markets. PREISM is national in scope and focuses on decision making related to species of agricultural or USDA program significance. Through PREISM, ERS supports and conducts research to improve the economic basis of decision making concerning invasive issues, policies, and programs. Program themes have included international dimensions of invasive species prevention and management; development and application of methods to analyze important invasive species issues, policies, and programs; and analysis of economic, institutional, and behavioral factors affecting decisions to prevent or manage invasive species. Source: Administrative Publication No. (AP-021) 44 pp.
    Date Released: 2007-07-16
    Website: The report is at http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/127296/ap056.pdf
    The USDA ERS Briefing Room on Invasive Species Management is at http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/InvasiveSpecies/ Contact: Elizabeth Ashley, Report Coordinator
    Phone: (202) 694-5547
    Fax: (202) 694-5775
    E-mail: PREISM@ers.usda.gov
 
  • GETTING UP TO SPEED: A CONSERVATIONIST’S GUIDE TO WILDLIFE AND HIGHWAYS
    This handbook is written for conservationists to provide the necessary foundation to become better informed, more effective stakeholders in transportation debates. Getting Up To Speed (GUTS) is divided into four sections:

      • Law, Policy and Governance describes the legislative and regulatory framework associated with our transportation infrastructure, including the highway bill, funding, research and management of roads on public lands.
      • Anatomy of a Road illustrates the life cycle of a road project, from the planning process to environmental review, through construction and long-term maintenance.
      • Natural Environment provides greater detail about transportation policies and practices specifically related to wildlife, roadside vegetation and aquatic resources.
      • Advocacy outlines helpful hints for conservation advocates and showcases some of the best examples of successful organizations and campaigns.

GUTS is available online at http://www.defenders.org/. Copies of the book are available free of charge to non-profit wildlife conservation advocacy organizations. Government agencies and private companies may purchase hard copies for $25 each. Please email all questions and inquiries to jfeinberg@defenders.org.

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