Public Hearing on Invasive Species in Rural Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2021
Agenda and Testimony (PDF) | Video Recording | Testimony Highlights (PDF)

HARRISBURG – The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, chaired by Sen. Gene Yaw, will hold a virtual public hearing on Tuesday, August 24, beginning at 10 a.m., to examine the impacts of invasive species, such as the spotted lanternfly, gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, hydrilla, and reed canarygrass, to Pennsylvania’s economy, agriculture, and natural resources. The hearing will also review policy approaches to manage these invasive threats.

“Invasive species have been wreaking havoc on Pennsylvania land and waterways for decades,” Sen. Yaw said. “Research published by the Center in 2019 estimated a direct economic impact of $13.1 million annually to Pennsylvania agriculture because of the spotted lanternfly. That’s an estimate for the damage to one industry and economy for just one of many invasive species.”

Featured panelists at the hearing are: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding; Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn; Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director Timothy Schaeffer; Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center Director Dr. Jayson Harper; Kane Hardwood Resource Manager Thomas Kase; Crawford County Conservation District Watershed Specialist Brian Pilarcik; Shippensburg University Professor Dr. Sara Grove; Pennsylvania Sea Grant Director Sarah Whitney; McKean County Conservation District Communications and Outreach Director Jody Groshek; and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Invasive Species Coordination Section Chief Josh Thiel.

In addition to Sen. Yaw, Center Board members are: Board Vice Chairman Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski; Board Secretary Dr. Nancy Falvo, Clarion University of Pennsylvania; Board Treasurer Stephen Brame, Governor’s representative; Sen. Katie Muth;; Rep. Dan Moul; Richard Esch, University of Pittsburgh; Dr. Timothy Kelsey, Pennsylvania State University; Shannon Munro, Pennsylvania College of Technology; Dr. Charles Patterson, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; Susan Snelick, Northern Pennsylvania Regional College; and Darrin Youker, Governor’s representative.

The public hearing will be held via Zoom Webinar. Attendees are asked to please register in advance at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KLNSbYqjQgW769oelhHTNQ.

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The Center for Rural Pennsylvania is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The Center works with the legislature, educators, state and federal executive branch agencies, and national, statewide, regional and local organizations to maximize resources and strategies that can better serve Pennsylvania's nearly 3.4 million rural residents.

CONTACT:
Christine Caldara Piatos, Communications Manager
Center for Rural Pennsylvania
(717) 787-9555