Conservancy urges reauthorizing invasive species panel

(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Nature Conservancy is urging state lawmakers to reauthorize a council that focuses attention on the threat that invasive species pose to Indiana’s native wildlife.

Lawmakers created the Indiana Invasive Species Council in 2009 to address the growing scourge of invasive species, including plants such as Japanese honeysuckle that crowd out native plants and reduce food for wildlife.

But the 11-member council will disband in July unless lawmakers act.

The Nature Conservancy is pressing lawmakers to approve legislation that would reauthorize the council until 2023. Ellen Jacquart of The Nature Conservancy says reauthorizing the council would give native plants and animals “a fighting chance” and reduce the financial drag that invasive species put on the state.

The Nature Conservancy also supports funding an executive director post for the all-volunteer council.

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