Vermont's Plant Quarantine Rule
The Agency of Agricultue passed the Noxious Weed Quarantine Rule in 2002 to regulate the importation, movement, sale, possession, cultivation and distribution of certain invasive plants. The plants on the rule’s Noxious Weed List pose a serious threat to Vermont's working forests, natural areas and waterways. Following a legal review process, new plants are periodically added to the rule when they are found to be a problem on the landscape.
The Vermont Invasive Exotic Plant Committee (VIEPC) also maintains a “watch list," which has no regulatory force but is used to educate the public about potentially problematic plants and encourages volunteers to monitor them using iMapInvasives. For more information and an up-to-date list, click here.
Japanese barberry, Common barberry, Burning bush, Norway maple, Amur maple, Yellow flag iris, and European naiad added to Quarantine Rule
The Agency of Agriculture has passed revisions to the Quarantine Rule. Below is the full press release as provided by the Agency of Agriculture:
Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets Quarantine #3 – Noxious Weeds, Amended Rule, final revisions accepted by Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, to be filed with Secretary of State shortly.
MONTPELIER, Vermont – February 24, 2012
The final revised version of the Amended Noxious Weeds Rule has been approved by the Vermont Legislature, and is now being prepared for final filing with the Secretary of State. This rule, originally adopted in 2002, prohibits movement, distribution, and sale of several established invasive plant species, and places additional possession and cultivation restrictions on a smaller number of plant species not known to be established in the state. Some familiar originally regulated species include purple loosestrife, Japanese knotweed, several bush or shrubby honeysuckles, glossy and common buckthorns, garlic mustard, and goutweed. The amended rule will prohibit the sale and movement/distribution of Norway maple (Acer platanoides), Amur maple (Acer ginnala), burning bush (Euonymous alatus), Japanese and common barberries (Berberis thunbergii and B. vulgaris), yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus), and European naiad (Najas minor, an invasive aquatic species).
The prohibitions on sale and distribution of these plants sourced from outside Vermont will go into effect immediately upon filing of the rule, but there is to be a short-term “grace period”, affecting in-state inventories of the added species. Existing in-state stock, although it diminished considerably in recent years due to educational and voluntary efforts, represents a substantial investment by small businesses and producers in Vermont. The “grace period” conceived by the pre-filing stakeholders group is an effort to balance the economic hardships with the long term goal of reducing the number of these plants intentionally introduced. The “grace period” provides adequate time for existing stock to be marketed and sold or shipped to locations out-of-state where the species are not likewise prohibited. It also provides additional time for education and outreach to inform dealers and the public as a means of influencing choice.
Under the “grace period”, sales of existing inventories will be permitted until July 1, 2013, after which all sales and distribution will be prohibited. The Agency of Agriculture, Plant Industry Section will be identifying and tagging existing inventories this summer (2012), in order to track sales and inform growers of the rule and their opportunities to market alternative non-invasive species.
The amended rule also clarifies exemptions and variances for eradication, disposal, educational and scientific purposes, and for development of non-invasive varieties and cultivars of listed species. Other issues addressed in the amendments include defining the roles and responsibilities of the invasive plant advisory committee, and minor housekeeping matters.
Pending final filing with the Secretary of State, the rule should go into effect by the end of March 2012, and will be in effect for the entire 2012 growing season.
Copies of the original and amended rule as well as the public comment responsiveness summary are available at the Agency of Agriculture website (http://www.vermontagriculture.com/ARMES/plantindustry/plantPathology/weeds/documents.html), or directly from the Plant Industry Section (802 828-1317, or firstname.lastname@example.org).
About the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets
VAAFM facilitates, supports and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture in Vermont while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment. www.VermontAgriculture.com