The nursery industry is highly concerned this year that many industry priorities may fall under the budget axe, but there was good news this morning out of the Oregon House of Representatives. House Bill 2020 (PDF) was unanimously approved in the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Communities Committee. This is a bill to set up a dedicated Invasive Species Control Account and fund it initially with $10 million in lottery-backed bonds. The Oregon Invasive Species Council could then grant these funds as needed – up to $2 million per year, total – to help eradicate new infestations. The bill heads next to the Ways and Means Committee – a group that’s being forced by current circumstances to carefully evaluate just about every proposed state expenditure. Still, the unanimous vote by the Natural Resources committee is a positive sign that Salem sees the fight against invasive species as an important priority.
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