Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
Hugh Vickery
For Immediate Release:October 29, 2003



Secretary Norton to Discuss Tamarisk Control
At National Invasive Species Council Meeting


Interior Secretary Gale Norton will announce new efforts to control tamarisk, a water-hungry invasive plant that has infested more than 1.6 million acres throughout the West at a meeting of the National Invasive Species Council on Thursday, Oct. 30.

"Stopping the spread of tamarisk and other invasive species is one of the Interior Department's highest priorities," Norton said. "Tamarisk has greatly compromised our ability to manage water in the West, posing a threat to both communities and wildlife."

The National Invasive Species Council is a Cabinet-level council that helps to coordinate and ensure complementary, cost-efficient and effective federal activities regarding invasive species.
Invasive plants alone are estimated to cause more than $20 billion per year in economic damage. Invasive animals and pathogens push the total cost to the U.S. economy to more than $100 billion each year.
They also harm the environment and wildlife. As an estimate of ecological harm, up to 46 percent of threatened and endangered species owe their listing in whole or in part to the uncontrolled spread of invasive species. In fact, invasive species threaten many fish and wildlife populations and have the potential to degrade entire plant and animal communities.

Who: Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior, Ann Veneman, Secretary of Agriculture

What: Meeting of the National Invasive Species Council

When: 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 30, 2003

Wyndham Hotel
1400 M St.
Washington, DC



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