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Input Needed: Regulation Review of Potential Minnesota Noxious Weeds

Posted By Jim Calkins & Monika Chandler, Thursday, September 10, 2020
2020 MDA/MNLA Noxious Weed Nursery Industry Survey; Please Take a Few Minutes to Participate!

 

TAKE ME TO THE SURVEY NOW

 

The Minnesota Noxious Weed Law directs the Commissioner of Agriculture, in consultation with the Minnesota Noxious Weed Advisory Committee (NWAC), to determine which plants are subject to regulation with the goal of protecting the resources of the State of Minnesota and its residents from the harmful effects of noxious weeds. The law allows Minnesota counties, townships, cities, citizens, and organizations to petition reviews of the invasive potential of terrestrial plants through risk assessment and the listing and regulation of species that are determined to be noxious weeds in the state. In January 2020, the NWAC approved petitions for the review of 16 new species over the next three years (2020-2022) including 13 species that are variously important to the nursery and landscape industry.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), and NWAC would like your input regarding the plant species that are being reviewed for potential regulation as noxious weeds during the 2020-2022 review cycle. Since 13 of these species are variously planted in residential and commercial landscapes, and regulation of these species could impact your business and the nursery and landscape industry as a whole, your input is especially needed to accurately gauge the importance of these species to the Minnesota nursery trade as part of the risk assessment process and will be greatly appreciated.

Please visit the survey at Nursery and Landscape Industry Survey 2020 to view the list of species that are being reviewed and provide your input before September 28, 2020, when the survey will close. Please do not hesitate to contact Monika Chandler or Jim Calkins if you have any questions or concerns.

Once again, we appreciate your assistance and look forward to receiving your input.

Respectfully,

Monika Chandler
Noxious & Invasive Weed Program (MDA)
monika.chandler@state.mn.us; 612-327-3857
 
James B. Calkins, Ph.D.
Regulatory Affairs Manager (MNLA)
jim@mnla.biz; 952-935-0682
 

 

Survey Background & Supporting Information

Under the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 18, Sections 18.75-18.91, the Commissioner of Agriculture (Minnesota Department of Agriculture/MDA), in consultation with the Minnesota Noxious Weed Advisory Committee (NWAC), is responsible for protecting the resources and residents of the State of Minnesota from the harmful effects of noxious weeds. To help fulfill this obligation, the NWAC is charged with conducting plant risk assessments to determine if specific species pose a threat to human or animal health, the environment, agriculture (crops and/or livestock), roads, or other property and recommending whether they should be listed and regulated as noxious weeds in the state. Most recently, six new species were added to the Minnesota Noxious Weed List by the Commissioner of Agriculture in January 2020 and are now being regulated as noxious weeds in Minnesota. With the exception of emergency listings, the NWAC makes recommendations to the Commissioner of Agriculture on a three-year cycle and has approved the following 16 species (in alphabetical order based on scientific name) for review and risk assessment over the next three years (nursery and landscape species are highlighted in bold):

  • Tatarian Maple (Acer tataricum)
  • Hardy Kiwi (Actinidia arguta)
  • Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula)*
  • Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna)
  • Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila paniculata)
  • Honeyberry (Lonicera caerulea)
  • Amur Corktree (Phellodendron amurense)
  • Kudzu (Pueraria montana)
  • Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana)
  • Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
  • Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)
  • Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata)
  • Saltcedar/Tamarisk/Tamarix (Tamarix ramosissima)
  • Goldencreeper (Thladiantha dubia)
  • Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)
  • Garden Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

*Note that a risk assessment and listing review have previously been completed for leafy spurge and leafy spurge has been listed as a Prohibited/Control Noxious Weed since 1992. The current review and update of the risk assessment for leafy spurge will include new information on leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) and its subspecies based on recent genetic research.

As a result of these risk assessment reviews, the potential regulatory recommendations and outcomes for these 16 species include not being listed (no regulation) or being listed and regulated as Prohibited/Eradicate, Prohibited/Control, or Restricted Noxious Weeds or as Specially Regulated Plants. These listing categories are defined and regulated as follows:

  • Prohibited/Eradicate Noxious Weeds are non-native plant species that have the potential or are known to be detrimental to human or animal health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock or other property and are not currently known to be present in Minnesota or are not widely established in the state. These species cannot be propagated, sold, transported, or intentionally planted in Minnesota and existing plants/populations must be eradicated by killing the above and below ground parts of the plant. Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), and black swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae) are examples.
  • Prohibited/Control Noxious Weeds are non-native plant species that have the potential or are known to be detrimental to human or animal health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock or other property and are established throughout Minnesota or regions of the state and would be difficult to impossible to eradicate. These species cannot be propagated, sold, transported, or intentionally planted in Minnesota and existing plants/populations must be controlled to prevent the spread, maturation, and dispersal of all propagating parts (mowing, etc.). Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), and wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) are examples.
  • Restricted Noxious Weeds are non-native plant species that have the potential or are known to be detrimental to human or animal health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock or other property and are widely distributed in Minnesota and for which the only feasible means of control is to prevent their spread by prohibiting the importation, sale, and transportation of their propagating parts. These species cannot be sold, transported, or intentionally planted in Minnesota. Garlic mustard ( Alliaria petiolata), crown vetch (Securigera varia), and common/European and glossy buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica and Frangula alnus, respectively) are examples.
  • Specially Regulated Plants may be native species or non-native plant species that have demonstrated economic value, but also have the potential to cause harm because they pose ecological, economic, or human or animal health concerns. Under the Minnesota Noxious Weed Law, Specially Regulated Plants must be handled and managed based on special regulations. Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), Japanese, giant, and Bohemian knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum, Polygonum sachalinense, and Polygonum x bohemicum, respectively), and Amur maple (Acer ginnala) are examples. In the case of Amur maple, sellers are required to affix a label to the plants that advises buyers to only plant Amur maple and its cultivars in landscapes where the seedlings will be controlled by mowing or other means and at least 100 yards from natural areas (e.g., woodlands, savannas, and prairies).

Thirteen of the 16 species being assessed during the 2020-2022 review cycle (highlighted in bold in the lists above) are variously of special interest to the nursery and landscape industry as regulation of these species (including all cultivars, varieties, and hybrids) could have an impact on individual firms and the nursery and landscape industry as a whole. As a consequence, and with the goal of keeping industry representatives engaged in the review process, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), and the Minnesota Noxious Weed Advisory Committee (NWAC) need your input regarding the potential regulation of these species. To this end, all nursery certificate holders should receive an email notice from the MDA seeking input about these species and their potential regulation in the form of a survey accessed through the MDA website. MNLA members that have not received the notice from the MDA, including MNLA members that are not nursery stock growers or dealers and, therefore, are not nursery certificate holders may access the at Nursery and Landscape Industry Survey 2020 and we encourage you to do so and participate in the survey. The survey also includes an opportunity to comment on the other three species that are being reviewed as potential noxious weeds during this review cycle, but are not generally considered to be nursery and landscape species, if you would like to comment.

Your participation in this survey is critical and encouraged as the information provided will be included in the plant risk assessments and considered by the NWAC as it deliberates its recommendations to the Commissioner of Agriculture. The information will also be of interest to the commissioner’s office as they make the ultimate listing and regulatory decisions.

The survey is currently active and will remain open until September 28. As a result, the deadline for completing the survey is September 28, 2020.

In addition to needing your input regarding the sixteen species that are currently being reviewed as potential noxious weeds, remember, too, that 2020 is the first year of the three-year phase-out period for winged euonymus/burning bush (Euonymus alatus; including all named cultivars) which was approved for listing as a noxious weed earlier this year. None of the named cultivars are sterile and all are capable of producing viable seed and being spread to new areas by birds. During this phase out period, winged euonymus/burning bush is listed as a Specially Regulated Plant, but the species will become a Restricted Noxious Weed on January 1, 2023, and will no longer be allowed to be grown or sold in the State of Minnesota at that time.

The complete list of plants that are currently regulated as noxious weeds in Minnesota is available on the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) website at Minnesota Noxious Weed List. Additional information about the MDA Noxious and Invasive Weed Program, the noxious weed review process, and the plants listed as noxious weeds in Minnesota is also available on the MDA website.

The MNLA, MDA, and NWAC are also interested in hearing the perspectives of MNLA members regarding the MDA noxious weed listing process and the regulation of noxious weeds/invasive species in general, and especially relative to landscape species as potential invasive species, in Minnesota. There is an opportunity to submit these types of comments through the survey or you may convey them to the MNLA separately. Knowing your views on these issues will be helpful in the development of MNLA positions relative to specific species and the regulation of noxious weeds/invasive species in Minnesota. Jim Calkins is the MNLA representative on the Minnesota Noxious Weed Advisory Committee (NWAC) and also serves on the NWAC Listing and Management & Policy Subcommittees. If you have questions or concerns about the regulation of noxious weeds/invasive species in Minnesota, and especially species produced and sold in the nursery trade, please do not hesitate to contact Jim at jim@mnla.biz or 952-935-0682 to get your questions answered and share your views and concerns.

Once again, please be sure to participate in the nursery industry noxious weed survey by the September 28 deadline. This is your chance to comment on the nursery and landscape species that are being reviewed for potential listing as noxious weeds during this review cycle and an opportunity to share your views regarding the regulation of noxious weeds/invasive species in Minnesota. We need your input.

James Calkins MNLA Regulatory Affairs Manager jim@mnla.biz; 952-935-0682

Tags:  invasive species  Minnesota Department of Agriculture  noxious weeds  regulatory  survey 

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