The Lake George Association supports a new bill on invasive species introduced in the New York State Senate by Senator Betty Little, Bill S6826. A companion to the bill introduced earlier this month in the assembly, this new Senate bill will authorize the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to establish a list of invasive species that will be prohibited from being sold, transported, and introduced in New York State.
“The Lake George community spent over $630,000 in 2011 to fight the Asian clam alone,” said Walt Lender, executive director of the Lake George Association, “and we expect to spend a similar amount in 2012. We need to do everything we can to prevent the very expensive spread of invasive species. This New York law will help us to do that on a statewide basis.”
Assembly members Sweeney and Sayward introduced a similar bill – A9422 – earlier this month.
“The LGA thanks Senator Little, and assembly members Sweeney and Sayward, for taking the lead on this important legislation,” said Emily DeBolt, LGA Director of Education. “Many of our neighboring states throughout New England have already established laws of this kind, including Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts. It is essential that New York State join them so we can work together regionally to help prevent the spread and introduction of invasive species,” she said.
Once introduced, invasive species are expensive to eradicate and manage, and threaten valuable industries in New York State. As a nation we spend $167 billion each year to address only the economic impact of invasive species. In addition to significant ecological and health impacts, invasive species can prevent access to waterways important for the fishing industry, and can invade forests and farms, resulting in the loss of timber and crops.