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BEST-L  April 2012

BEST-L April 2012

Subject:

Growing Risk for Taxpayers and Wildlife

From:

"Dr. Ann C. Wilkie" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Dr. Ann C. Wilkie

Date:

Fri, 20 Apr 2012 08:31:33 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (70 lines)

Growing Risk for Taxpayers and Wildlife
(National conservation group urges precaution on cultivating invasive plants for
bioenergy)
National Wildlife Federation, April 4, 2012.
http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Media-Center/News-by-Topic/Wildlife/2012/04-04-12-Growing-Risk-for-Taxpayers-and-Wildlife.aspx

"Good biofuel crops can make great invasive species. That’s one of the findings
of a new report released by the National Wildlife Federation. "Growing Risk:
Addressing the Invasive Potential of Bioenergy Feedstocks" explores the
challenges and policy solutions surrounding the use of non-native and
potentially invasive bioenergy crops. Numerous non-native and genetically
modified species are already being considered for use as biomass feedstocks.
Growing these plants may appear to be a great source of homegrown renewable
energy, but without proper precaution, producers run the risk of unleashing the
next big invasive species catastrophe that could devastate native ecosystems,
deplete scarce water resources and require significant resources to control.

“Invasive species cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year and put
ecosystems and wildlife at risk,” said Aviva Glaser, legislative representative
for agriculture policy for the National Wildlife Federation. “As bioenergy
development moves forward, it is critical that feedstocks are chosen with care.
Proper caution must be taken to minimize the risk of invasion and ensure that
the next generation of bioenergy does not fuel the next invasive species problem.”

"Growing Risk" profiles six potentially invasive bioenergy feedstocks. Giant
reed, for example, was introduced into North American agriculture nearly two
centuries ago with good intentions. Unfortunately, the fast growing grass
quickly became a highly invasive nuisance in states from California to South
Carolina. Today, this water-hogging invasive species is hard to control,
out-competes native plants, threatens wildlife, and strains local ecosystems and
taxpayer wallets. Despite its track record, giant reed is now being considered
as a potential crop for bioenergy production in at least three states.

“Bioenergy can be an important part of our nation’s clean energy future,” said
Patty Glick, senior climate change specialist for the National Wildlife
Federation. “However, producers and policymakers need to assess the risks and
unintended consequences that come from using non-native biomass rather than
rushing full speed ahead without considering potential consequences.”

"Growing Risk" also highlights the gaps in current laws that fail to prevent the
costly spread of invasive plants or pay for control and eradication once
invasions occur. The report points to the importance of balancing America’s
energy needs with the country’s ecological needs through key policy
recommendations. They include reducing and minimizing the risk of invasive
bioenergy crops by strengthening monitoring programs and policies and
encouraging ecosystem restoration to improve wildlife habitat through future
bioenergy development."

For more information on preventing bioenergy crops from becoming invasive, read
"Growing Risk: Addressing the Invasive Potential of Bioenergy Feedstocks."
http://www.nwf.org/News-and-Magazines/Media-Center/Reports/Archive/2012/04-04-12-Growing-Risk.aspx

Download the full report:
Growing Risk: Addressing the Invasive Potential of Bioenergy Feedstocks (pdf)
http://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Wildlife/Growing%20Risk-2-FINAL-LOW-RES.ashx

-- 
**********************************************************************
Dr. Ann C. Wilkie                          Tel: (352)392-8699
Soil and Water Science Department          Fax: (352)392-7008
University of Florida-IFAS
P.O. Box 110960                         E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Gainesville, FL 32611-0960
______________________________________________________________________
Campus location: Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (Bldg. 246).
http://campusmap.ufl.edu/
______________________________________________________________________
BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Society
http://grove.ufl.edu/~bests/
**********************************************************************

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