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Policy Directive 2004-02 - Invasive Nonindigenous Plant Species

Invasive nonindigenous plant species have been intentionally or accidentally introduced into habitats and geographical areas where they did not evolve and have the ability to reproduce and spread without the natural limits present in their native ecosystems. These natural limits include competition, herbivory, disease and other factors. As a result, invasive species become weeds in both altered environments and natural ecosystems, displacing native flora. Invasive species can alter the structure, composition and function of ecosystems. Tree of heaven, purple loosestrife, and kudzu are well known examples of invasive nonindigenous plants.

Nationwide, invasive nonindigenous species cause billions of dollars in damage annually. Although this problem is national and international in scope, there are practical and inexpensive steps that can be taken to address the issue of introduction of invasive nonindigenous plants on lands administered and managed by the Department of Environmental Protection.

On February 27, 2004 Governor James E. McGreevey signed Executive Order #97 mandating the formation of the New Jersey Invasive Species Council and requiring, among others, the development of a comprehensive New Jersey Invasive Species Management Plan. This policy outlines specific actions the Department can take, consistent with the intent of the Executive Order, to limit any further intentional introduction of specified known invasive nonindigenous plants. In particular, the policy is intended to guide Department employees in planning and implementing planting, landscaping and land management activities on Department lands and waters. The policy is also intended to guide in the planning and implementation of planting, landscaping and land management activities on lands and waters affected through programs administered by the Department, as appropriate. By prohibiting the use of these harmful nonindigenous plants, it is the intention of the Department to direct its employees to seek and substitute benign indigenous or native species alternatives for planting and landscaping.


Background

Invasive Nonindigenous Plant Species include plant species that have been intentionally or accidentally introduced into habitats and geographical areas where they did not evolve and have the ability to reproduce and spread without the limits present in their native ecosystems, thereby threatening native biological diversity and/or the integrity of natural ecosystems.


Policy

Invasive nonindigenous plant species, and all parts thereof, including but not limited to seeds, will not be intentionally introduced, released and/or planted within lands and waters administered by the Department. Refer to the attached list of Invasive Nonindigenous Plant Species, which are unsuitable for use in planting, landscaping, habitat restoration and reforestation in New Jersey.


Exceptions

Exceptions to this policy may be granted as determined by the Commissioner. Exceptions may include, but are not limited to, botanical gardens and arboreta, historical landscape plantings, and research.


Implementation

Department land managers will not permit the introduction, release or planting of invasive nonindigenous plant species or any parts thereof on Department lands and waters. Department employees will provide the attached list of Invasive Nonindigenous Plant Species to all consultants and contractors hired to perform landscape design and other plantings to ensure that listed plant species are not used for any Department properties. Department employees, in the course of their official duties, shall discourage the use of invasive nonindigenous plant species when providing advice or consultation to other government entities, non-profit organizations and private individuals, unless identified as an exemption by the Commissioner. Nothing in this Policy Directive shall be construed to prohibit Department land managers from planning and implementing removal or control of invasive nonindigenous plant species, including the use of biocontrol methods, as appropriate, on the lands or waters within their jurisdiction, pending receipt of all applicable approvals for such action.


Posting


This policy shall be posted at all DEP facilities and made available to the public on the DEP Web site.


Appendix to Policy Directive 2004-02 (Pdf Format)


Date: October 14, 2004 _________________
  Bradley M. Campbell
Commissioner

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: July 3, 2018