Aquatic Invasive Species Leaders Gather to Discuss Regional Threats

Salt Lake City, Utah- In September, experts on invasive species will gather to discuss the most pressing issues on aquatic invasive species management. The Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (WRP) will hold its annual meeting at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center in Salt Lake City September 5-7 hosted by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. Aquatic invasive species cause tremendous damage to our economic and natural resources.

Whether conducting thousands of boat inspections, tackling tsunami debris, or developing habitat restoration plans managers and biologists work in a fast paced environment where they must anticipate and react to damaging aquatic invasive species. Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to our rivers and lakes, and require comprehensive management strategies to protect our water resources.

“The Panel annual meeting is an important gathering for those dealing with invasive species” says Larry Dalton, AIS Coordinator with UT Division of Wildlife Resources and WRP Executive Committee member. “Keeping the communication lines open is critical in protecting our water resources from invasive species”.

The WRP addresses both coastal and inland management issues that deal with aquatic invasive species. During the annual meeting next month participants will learn from informative lectures and discussions to foster coordination of aquatic invasive species management among western states. The WRP Annual Meeting is a public event. To learn more about the WRP and their annual meeting, please visit http://www.fws.gov/answest/default.html.

“Utah Division of Wildlife has stepped up to host the annual meeting,” reports Leah Elwell, Coordinator for the WRP. “Their determination to bring together invasive species experts for this meeting is indicative of their strong program to deal with AIS in Utah”.

The Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species was formed in 1997 to help limit the introduction, spread and impacts of aquatic nuisance species into the Western Region of North America. This panel of public and private entities was formed by a provision in the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (P.L. 101-636), the amendment to the 1990 Act. The Panel members hail from state, federal, tribal agencies as well as many research and non-profit entities.

Contact:
Leah Elwell – Panel Coordinator
Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species
406-222-7270