National Plant Board

Safeguarding American Plant Resources

Safeguard Cover Page
Safeguarding Review Report
Implementation of Safeguarding Recommendations
 

Introduction

The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA APHIS PPQ) wants to more effectively fulfill its mission of protecting the Nation’s plant resources. To accomplish this, USDA APHIS PPQ sponsored a review of the safeguarding system that protects America from invasive species. Recent significant infestations of plant pests underscored the need to review the present safeguarding system and to make it more effective. Many stakeholders have felt the impact of the recent plant pest outbreaks. Such pest introductions include: Asian longhorned beetle, Mediterranean fruit fly, citrus canker, and Karnal bunt. The cost of eradication efforts for these pests will continue to be extremely costly for both government and industry. To determine it’s effectiveness in protecting U.S. agriculture from such plant pests, the USDA APHIS PPQ asked the National Plant Board (NPB) to assemble a panel of experts from industry, government, academia and others to conduct a review the of the current system and if necessary recommend changes that would provide the safeguarding system needed to protect this country’s resources.

Purpose

The Stakeholder Review was designed to, through an external, forward-looking, holistic study, determine what is working successfully in the U.S. and what is not. The review proposed specific recommendations on how to optimize the system to improve our abilities to protect domestic plant resources from non-native pests and invasive alien species, as we approach the next century.

Scope

What was reviewed?

The review was broad in scope and addressed the efficacy of the safeguarding system through the following six major questions:

  1. What is the best way to gather intelligence to maximize the efficacy of the safeguarding system?
  2. How should the permit system function to ensure that the safeguarding system protects the U.S. from pest invasion?
  3. What is the best way that offshore activities can maximize the efficacy of the safeguarding system?
  4. What are the most effective activities to exclude pests?
  5. What are the most effective approaches for detecting pests that have entered the U.S.?
  6. What is the most appropriate role for PPQ in managing an non-native pest that has entered the U.S.?

In addition, the following three general questions were addressed as follow-up to the answers to each of the six "broad scope" questions listed above:

  1. What is working well with the current U.S. approach to this issue or activity?
  2. What are the important differences between the envisioned approach versus the current U.S. approach?
  3. What practical changes can be implemented to bring them together?

What was NOT intended to be reviewed?

This review was not an audit. The review focused on the safeguarding system, not the personalities involved. Domestic programs were outside the scope (e.g. biocontrol projects, Boll Weevil Eradication Program, and Gypsy Moth).

PPQ Steering Committee

USDA APHIS PPQ management appointed a steering committee to provide guidance to the NPB and oversee the review. The steering committee was composed of Daniel Fieselmann, (Chair) Entomologist, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology Raleigh, North Carolina, Michael Shannon, State Plant Health Director-Florida, Robert Spaide, Assistant Director of Safeguarding and Pest Management, Riverdale, Maryland, and Helene Wright State Plant Health Director-California. The steering committee determined the scope and charge of the review and assisted with logistical support and was available for consultation as the review progressed.

Review Panel

The NPB assembled a review panel that consisted of a two panel co chairs and chairs of four committees as outlined below. Panel members were selected in collaborative discussions between NPB officers and the PPQ steering committee.

Stakeholder Input

The review solicited the perspectives of varied sources such as industry, scientific societies, states, other federal agencies, the traveling public, port authorities, importers, environmental groups, and animal health groups as well as USDA APHIS PPQ employees. Recommendations look beyond the narrow agendas of individual stakeholders to the overall mission accomplishment.

Structure and Oversight

Given the broad scope, the review needed to be partitioned into tasks and sub-tasks that link together. The review panel was comprised of four committees with specific charges or assignments. Each committee was chaired by a member of the review panel. The committees and their charges were as follows:

International Pest Information Committee

What is the best way to gather and disseminate intelligence to maximize the efficacy of the safeguarding system?

  • What is working well with the current U.S. approach to this issue or activity?
  • What are the important differences between the envisioned approach versus the current U.S. approach?
  • What practical changes can be implemented to bring them together?

Permit System Committee

How should the permit system function to ensure that the safeguarding system protects the U.S. from pest invasion?

  • What is working well with the current U.S. approach to this issue or activity?
  • What are the important differences between the envisioned approach versus the current U.S. approach?
  • What practical changes can be implemented to bring them together?

Pest Exclusion Committee

What is the best way that offshore activities can maximize the efficacy of the safeguarding system?

  • What is working well with the current U.S. approach to this issue or activity?
  • What are the important differences between the envisioned approach versus the current U.S. approach?
  • What practical changes can be implemented to bring them together

What are the most effective activities to exclude pests?

  • What is working well with the current U.S. approach to this issue or activity?
  • What are the important differences between the envisioned approach versus the current U.S. approach?
  • What practical changes can be implemented to bring them together?

Domestic Pest Detection and Response Committee

What are the most effective approaches for detecting pests that have entered the U.S.?

  • What is working well with the current U.S. approach to this issue or activity?
  • What are the important differences between the envisioned approach versus the current U.S. approach?
  • What practical changes can be implemented to bring them together?

What is the most appropriate role for USDA APHIS PPQ and its stakeholders in managing an exotic pest that has entered the U.S.?

  • What is working well with the current U.S. approach to this issue or activity?
  • What are the important differences between the envisioned approach versus the current U.S. approach?
  • What practical changes can be implemented to bring them together?

Review Panel Co-Chairs

The Review Panel co-chairs ensured overall coordination between the panelists and the various committees. Committee chairs selected committee members to assist in performing their charged evaluation. Committee representatives included representatives from several stakeholder groups so as to ensure adequate stakeholder evaluation and input for each facet of the review.

Implementation Panel

USDA APHIS PPQ will assemble an implementation panel to address the findings and recommendations of the final Review Panel report. To ensure continuity of the recommendations, the Implementation Panel will be composed of members from the review panel. The Implementation Panel will be responsible, in conjunction with the APHIS PPQ Management Team, for generating time lines for implementing the review recommendations. The Implementation Panel will track progress through regular updates with USDA APHIS PPQ on implementing the recommendations.  The NPB will provide assistance as needed during the implementation phase.

Last modified: March 15, 2000