Currently, the USDA Forest Service has more than 100 scientists or 65 full time scientist equivalents, in 39 work units, addressing research questions on more than 100 invasive species. We work to determine spread rates, means of transmission, host ranges, distribution, and impacts. We develop treatments, protocols for field monitoring and detection, and laboratory diagnostics, risk maps, models and assessments. Scientists are studying invasive species interactions with fire, recreation, watershed management, disturbance, climate change, wildlife, air quality, and other factors. Projects address issues at the international, national, statewide, county, and local level.
Between 2001 and 2009, Forest Service research scientists and their partners produced and delivered over 1100 tools to customers. These tools include:
- 216 tools to predict and prevent invasive species introductions.
- 404 tools to detect, respond and eradicate recently introduced invasive species.
- 274 tools to manage and mitigate established invasive species.
- 109 tools to restore, rehabilitate, and maintain ecosystems.
Our Invasive Species Research Program was reviewed by an external peer panel in 2006. In response to the panel's suggestion, invasive species researchers throughout the organization reconsidered our priority research areas. Two outcomes from this review were Research and Development National Invasive Species Strategy, which identifies over-arching priorities, and a dynamic invasive species research vision: Opportunities and priorities 2009-29, a vision paper for addressing insects, pathogens, invasive plants, terrestrial animals, aquatic organisms and microorganisms.