Connecticut Law Review Volume 43 - Issue 4

Leading by Example: A Comparison Of New Zealand’s and the United States’ Invasive Species Policies

Invasive species pose a threat to native ecosystems and to the economy. It is estimated that the United States spends $138 billion annually in agricultural losses, infrastructure damage, and management costs stemming from invasive species. The United States’ invasive species management policy is a conglomeration of federal and state statutes that do not coalesce into a comprehensive policy. As a result, the country has many open pathways for introduction and lacks a mechanism to identify those pathways. In contrast, New Zealand is a world-leader in its comprehensive and proactive invasive species policy. Although the United States faces unique challenges with regard to invasive species management, it can learn many lessons from New Zealand’s program. This Note analyzes the United States’ and New Zealand’s invasive species policies and makes suggestions for improvement in the United States’ policy based on this analysis. Ultimately this Note argues that the United States must increase accountability, move to a preventative importation policy for new species entering the country, and integrate its various statutes to create a comprehensive policy across all pathways of invasion.

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