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Coming Soon: A Statewide Invasive Species Management Plan

Minnesota will soon have a comprehensive state plan to address both land and water invasive species. Several members of the Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Council (MISAC or mee-sack) including staff from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), and Minnesota Sea Grant met in 2005 to begin developing a draft plan.

Why a state plan? Both the DNR and MDA are mandated to administer invasive species response plans, and other organizations, including Sea Grant, were interested in creating a plan. Merging efforts into one plan provides a common structure for coordinating and guiding invasive species detection and response efforts, encourages input from partners, and improves access to funding.

To develop the plan, last October 70 representatives from various
businesses, government, and non-governmental entities, including the University of Minnesota Extension Service, gathered at a workshop in Roseville, Minn.

“Nationally, Minnesota is looked on as a model in addressing invasive species issues,” said Doug Jensen, aquatic invasive species program coordinator for Minnesota Sea Grant. “We are one of a few states forming a single plan that addresses both terrestrial and aquatic invasive species.”

Workshop attendees participated in breakout sessions according to their interests and indicated how their organizations would address invasive species prevention, early detection, management, and coordination efforts. This information will be used as input for the comprehensive state plan.

“There was great interest from people in attending the workshop,” said Jensen, who co-hosted the event. “Based on this interest and the input we received, the workshop demonstrated that invasive species issues need to be addressed through a comprehensive approach.”

According to workshop evaluations, the workshop was very successful:

  • 89 percent of attendees felt the workshop addressed their organization’s invasive species-related mission, goals, and objectives
  • 71 percent thought that the draft plan is on track to become a viable approach
  • 79 percent felt it brought together diverse stakeholders
  • 78 percent were more than likely to implement aspects of the plan

The workshop was sponsored by Minnesota Sea Grant through a grant from the Great Lakes Commission in collaboration with MISAC, the DNR, and MDA.

Comments received on the draft will be considered during revision by MISAC. Once a revised plan is ready, it will be distributed to the public for comment. The plan will be finalized soon. A synthesis of the workshop outcomes will be presented at a Great Lakes Regional Summit hosted by the Great Lakes Commission in 2006.

To learn more about MISAC, please visit them on the web.


By Doug Jensen and Marie Zhuikov
June 2006

Return to June 2006 Seiche



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