Currently, the Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds is leading a national effort to develop and implement a National Early Detection and Rapid Response System for Invasive Plants in the United States. Ultimately, the system will be part of an All Taxa Early Detection and Rapid Response System under the National Invasive Species Management Plan. The overall purpose of developing such a system for invasive plants is to provide a coordinated framework of public and private partners to more effectively address new invasive plants through: (1) early detection and reporting of suspected new plants to appropriate officials, (2) identification and vouchering of submitted specimens by designated botanists, (3) verification of suspected new state, regional, and national plant records, (4) archival of new records in designated regional and plant databases, (5) rapid assessment of confirmed new records, and (6) rapid response to new records that are determined to be invasive. Currently, the U.S. Geological Survey is cooperating with state and regional partner groups in New England, the Gulf Coast, and the West to develop and field-test elements and processes that were identified in the Conceptual Design Plan. Once fully implemented across the nation, the proposed system will provide an important second line of defense against invasive plants that complements federal efforts to prevent unwanted introductions at the ports of entry.
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