Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), co-chairs of the Invasive Species Caucus, today called on Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to direct the United States Postal Service (USPS) to issue a semipostal stamp to help combat invasive species.
“We are committed to preserving our beautiful lands and communities for future generations. Acute impacts of invasives are specifically detrimental to ecosystems in Upstate New York and the North Country, which are home to some of the largest and most diverse ecosystems in New York State,” the lawmakers wrote.
In the letter, Stefanik pointed out that ecosystems in New York’s 21st District are now inhabited by numerous invasive species, including the emerald ash borer, round goby, sea lamprey, invasive jumping worm, and the water chestnut, among many others.
“We are proud to promote efforts to prevent and control the spread of invasive species. This proposed semipostal stamp, the Combating Invasive Species Semipostal Stamp, would raise awareness about the threat invasive species pose to our natural ecosystems and fund research that will help combat these predators,” the lawmakers continued.
Stefanik led the Stamp Out Invasive Species Act to help combat and raise awareness about the threat invasive species pose to Upstate New York and North Country ecosystems. Specifically, this bill would direct the United States Postal Service to issue a “Combating Invasive Species Semipostal Stamp.” Net proceeds from the sale of this stamp would be directed to the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior for programs that combat invasive species.
Last Congress, Stefanik’s bill advanced out of the House Natural Resources Committee unanimously.
“Invasive species pose a serious threat to our natural ecosystems, significantly harm native plant and animal populations, and cause detrimental economic damage to local communities. We strongly urge you to consider issuing the Combating Invasive Species Semipostal Stamp, and join our efforts to help combat and raise awareness of the threat invasive species pose,” the lawmakers concluded.
An estimated 50,000 non-native invasive animal and plant species have been introduced to the United States, costing up to $100 billion annually. Additionally, every state and U.S. territory has at least some form of invasive plant or animal tremendously impacting the natural biodiversity of our homes.
Stefanik and Thompson were joined by Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA), Jill Tokuda (D-HI), and Claudia Tenney (R-NY).
Read the full letter here.