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Budget Eliminates Funding to Help Eradicate Invasive Plants
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The recently-approved state budget doesn’t include any funding to eradicate invasive plants. Some members of the Invasive Plants Council, which is meeting today, say without funding it will be difficult to enforce the law.

This past spring lawmakers passed new legislation that updated a list of banned invasive plants. Invasive plants are non-native species that grow aggressively and can push out native species in forests. They can also grow so abundantly they clog up lakes and ponds.

The law also clarified the roles of state agencies to stop the sale of  banned plants in nurseries. David Sutherland of the Nature Conservancy is a member of the Invasive Plants Council. 

“The lack of money will make it more difficult for the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the Department of Agriculture to inspect different facilities that might be selling banned plants.  There are a lot of municipalities, a lot of volunteer groups that would like to do work.  They need money for equipment, they need help with some coordination and I think we definitely won’t be able to provide that without this funding.”

Sutherland says despite the lack of money, the Invasive Plants Council can continue to develop techniques on how to rid problematic plants from the state.