Invasive Species Council Report
Invasive species like this voracious snakehead fish
(Channa argus) wreak havoc with native ecosystems
and associated recreation and commercial industries.
DEC Releases RFQ for Nonnative Plant and Animal Species
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (Department) Office of Invasive Species Coordination (OISC) is seeking the services of an ecological consultant, or similar consultant to evaluate the potential ecological invasivity and socio-economic impacts of select plant species nonnative to New York State. This will be done by completing standardized ecological invasivity assessment tools for up to 50 nonnative plant species and socio-economic assessment tools for up to 175 nonnative plant species. All work is to be conducted between November 2012 and April 2013.
Responses to Questions
1. Question: What list of 50 plant species is being assessed? Does the contractor have to come up with the list and if so, how do they do that?
Answer: The Department will provide the contractor with the list of plant species to be assessed at the time of contract execution.
2. Question: I have not been able to locate/review individual PRISM assessments on line. In the sample assessments provided, one is referred to the PRISM invasiveness ranking form for each assessed species, yet I could not locate these when I went to the individual PRISM sites on the internet. This information it seems, must exist as it is cited on the form.
Answer: The focus of the invasive species assessments is the completion of the statewide assessment tools for ecological invasivity and socio-economic impacts. Completion of the PRISM ranking form is not a component of the work to be completed by the contractor. The PRISM ranking form is utilized by individuals PRISMs to inform management priorities within specific PRISMs. PRISM forms completed by the LIISMA can be found at the New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse website. See the NYISC web link under Links Leaving DEC's Website in the right column.
3. Question: Will field work/verification be required for this project? In item 5 of the RFQ it states: "Conduct remaining individual species assessments, using the survey protocols....". It is that word survey that is throwing me off my game. Does this include field/site assessments? The rest of the project seems to indicate that these assessments are a records review and summary of existing data. If statewide field verification is required, that is important to know and speaks to the travel mentioned in the RFQ.
Answer: The focus of the invasive species assessments is the completion of the statewide assessment tools for ecological invasivity and socio-economic impacts. No field work is expected or anticipated.
4. Question: What specific travel is envisioned in this project? Albany meetings? Regional meetings? Is there a frequency envisioned?
Answer: Travel will be required to attend a kick-off meeting for the contract. Additional meetings and/ or conference calls are anticipated monthly during the duration of the project.
5. Question: When the Quote Form requests a Budget per set of Plant Assessments, is that per ecological invasivity and socio-economic per plant or is that for the entire of number of plants included in the RFQ that need to be evaluated?
Answer: As stated in the RFQ, the budget table should be completed per set (2) of species assessments (1. ecological invasivity and 2. socio-economic assessment) for each individual species. The total number of species assessments to be conducted will be determined, in part, by the cost per set of assessments.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (Department) Office of Invasive Species Coordination (OISC) is seeking the services of an ecological consultant, or similar consultant to evaluate the potential ecological invasivity and socio-economic impacts of select animal species nonnative to New York State. This will be done by completing standardized invasivity and socio-economic assessment tools for up to 200 nonnative animal species. All work is to be conducted between November 2012 and April 2013.
Responses to Questions
1. Question: Is there a current list of non-native animal species considered for assessments? What protocols are in place to determine the final list?
Answer: A draft list of animal species to be assessed can be found in "A Regulatory System for Non-native Species" (PDF) (1.32 MB), Appendix J, pages 112-118. An updated list of animal species to be assessed will be provided to the contractor by the Department at the time of contract execution. This list is being compiled using a variety of resources including federal, state and stakeholder input and will be reviewed by the Assessment Team, Advisory Committee and Council as necessary.
2. Question: ARTICLE 1 states that all work is to be conducted between November 2012 and April 2013. If the contract initiation is delayed due to short time period between the RFQ release date and proposed start date, will a no cost extension be available without petition?
Answer: The intent is to complete the project within six months, although, as stated in the RFQ a single six month amendment/extension may be granted, if warranted. Actual start and end dates are dependent upon the state procurement process.
3. Question: What protocol adjustments will likely be made on the animal assessments? Are they currently being developed based on existing plant protocols and the protocol used for the sample animal assessment (Appendix F)?
Answer: While we do not anticipate major adjustment to the assessment tools will be required, it has been the experience of those who completed the plant assessments to date that minor changes were necessary as additional species were assessed and unique situations developed. We expect that similar modifications may be required as additional animal species are assessed.
4. Question: Can contract funds be distributed through an independent environmental consulting firm, eg. Adirondack Research and Consulting, L.L.C., or would you require funds to be handled through a university, conservation organization, or government agency that the contractor is collaborating with?
Answer: State contracting and procurement procedures dictate the use of MOUs between state agencies and contracts between the state and any other organization. As stated in the RFQ, we anticipate contracting with an appropriate vendor to evaluate the invasitity and socio-economic importance of select nonnative plant and animal species. While subcontracting by the selected vendor is allowed, the practicality and amount of subcontracting needs to be assessed against the tight time frame for this project.
Regulatory System for Non-native Species
The New York Invasive Species Council has completed a final report: A Regulatory System for Non-native Species (PDF) (1.32 MB). The report recommends a regulatory system for preventing the importation and/or release of non-native species. The recommended system would create the first-ever official lists of invasive species for New York State that would apply to all species of animals and plants.
About the New York Invasive Species Council
The Council comprises nine State agencies and is co-led by the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets. It was created by statute in 2008 and is responsible for coordinating invasive species management across the state. Among its many duties, the Council is required to prepare a report that recommends a system for non-native animal and plant species that contains three lists:
- a list of prohibited species, which should be unlawful to possess, import, purchase, sell, transport, or introduce except under a permit for disposal, control, research, or education;
- a list of regulated species ,which should be legal to possess, sell, buy, and transport but not be introduced into a free-living state;
- a list of non-native species that should not be subject to regulation
A System for Review and Listing of Non-native Species
Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) has
out-competed native undergrowth and prevented
This orange daylily (Hemerocallis
fulva) is an example of a non-native
plant with a low score from the
Invasiveness Ranking Form.
The report must also recommend a procedure for the review of non-native species that are not yet on the prohibited, regulated, or unregulated lists.
The proposed listing system is intended to ensure that harmful non-native species are not purposefully introduced for pets, nursery stock, food or other human uses. The system would give the Council the legal authority and responsibility to promulgate the three lists as New York State regulations. The Council would be assisted by the New York Invasive Species Advisory Committee, which includes 25 stakeholder representatives from industry, conservation, and academia. Staff at the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets would perform the many tasks involved in developing and officially promulgating the three lists.
A draft of this report was published for public review from March 31 through May 15. In response to the comments received, the report was revised to clarify the role of the Advisory Committee in the development and review of future regulatory lists.