Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik and Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) introduced the Native Plant Species Pilot Program Act, bipartisan legislation that would establish a pilot program through the National Park Service (NPS) to promote the use of locally adaptive native plant materials and incorporate efforts to combat the spread of invasive plants. Senators Collins and Cantwell have introduced identical legislation in the Senate. Congresswoman Stefanik previously supported this legislation in the 116th Congress.
“As Co-Chair of the House Invasive Species Caucus, I am proud to help reintroduce this legislation to combat the spread of invasive species and protect native plants within our diverse North Country ecosystems. Protecting native species is critical to maintaining natural landscapes, and this legislation will help preserve them for generations to come," said Congresswoman Stefanik.
Congressman Cartwright added: “Democrats and Republicans agree that America’s public lands and parks are treasures worth protecting. Promoting the native plants and ecosystems in places like Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area would ensure we can explore and enjoy them today and in the future.”
“Maine’s greatest treasure is it natural beauty and cultural history, attracting millions of visitors each year,” said Senator Collins. “The Native Plant Species Pilot Program Act would encourage the National Park Service to protect native plants such as blueberry barrens, white pines, and wildflowers, as well as prevent the future spread of invasive species across the State of Maine.”
“Native plants play a vital role in protecting our shared public lands. Bringing more native plants back will help us combat invasive species, provide food and shelter for local wildlife, and adapt to the looming threat of climate change,” said Senator Cantwell.
Specifically, the bill:
- Establishes a pilot program or native plant species to promote and increase the use of native plant materials by the National Park Service (NPS)
- Creates a study to determine the cost-effectiveness of using native plants
This bill has been endorsed by the Garden Club of America, Friends of Acadia, and Scenic America.