Congress must act to stop imported forest pests from killing our trees

Congress must act to stop imported forest pests from killing our trees

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Tree-SMART trade started this petition to Chair, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Debbie Stabenow and

One of the most severe and urgent threats facing US trees is the accidental importation of insects and tree diseases through international trade. Pests like the emerald ash borer and Asian long-horned beetle are decimating trees in our forests, parks, and neighborhoods.

When we lose trees, we lose the many benefits they provide, such as: filtering air pollution, reducing flooding, cooling neighborhoods, providing wildlife habitat, and storing carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change. Tree removal and replanting is a costly burden that falls on homeowners and local governments. 

Current efforts to prevent imported forest pests are not working. They continue to enter the country, primarily by hiding in wooden packaging material such as crates and pallets, and by infesting live plants that are imported for the nursery trade. To prevent the loss of millions of trees and all that depends on them, we need prompt federal action to clean up the pathways by which these insects and diseases enter the country. 

We call on the Agriculture Committees of the House of Representatives and Senate to hold hearings to determine why our current trade policies are not preventing the importation of forest pests and how we can reduce new pest introductions in the future. These hearings should include officials from the Department of Agriculture, US Customs and Border Protection, and other federal agencies, as well as experts from universities and non-governmental organizations.   

To learn more about this problem and what else you can do to help, visit www.treesmarttrade.org

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!