The Washington State University’s Division of Governmental Studies on behalf of the Washington Invasive Species Council is conducting a Tribal/Municipal Capabilities and Capacity Survey. The funding for this project comes from the Plant Protection Act provided by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ). This survey will help to determine the existing knowledge base, options and capabilities for response to invasive species; with the ultimate goal to improve and fill gaps both in the short and long term.
About the Council
As background, the Washington Invasive Species Council was by the State Legislature in 2006 and tasked with providing policy level direction, planning, and coordination for combating harmful invasive species throughout the state and preventing the introduction of others that may be harmful. The council is comprised of 22 organizations, including tribal, state, federal, and local governments, in addition to academic institutions, non-profits, and industry. Together, these organizations collaborate to prevent and stop invasive species whether they are aquatic or terrestrial organisms including plants (noxious weeds), animals, insects, and diseases.
Work of the Council
The major product of the council is a statewide intergovernmental strategy to guide policy, planning, outreach and operations of all organizations for the purpose of ensuring efficient and effective actions taken across jurisdictions. One recent examples of the council’s application of this strategy is facilitating the first on-the-ground exercise in the Columbia River basin to prepare for an infestation of quagga and zebra mussels. The practice scenario brought together 59 responders from 15 organizations and two counties to test containment and perform a mock treatment, inspect and decontaminate boats, and perform monitoring by skilled divers, dogs, and scientists. Another example involves developing a playbook and assessment tool for municipal urban forestry programs for the purpose of increasing readiness and capacity to respond to new forest pest introductions at the local scale.
We Need Your Feedback
In preparation for implementing the next strategic plan, the council has determined that a needs assessment to collect information from TRIBAL/MUNICIPAL governments is required, which led to the development of this survey. Your responses to this survey are voluntary and completely confidential. The results will be analyzed to help inform the short and long-term work of the council whether it will perform that work directly, or advocate for policies and resources from other organizations.
Once the survey period has closed, our two organizations plan to hold a virtual or in-person workshop to present results from the survey and collect more information to scope both short and long-term actions that the council will take to address feedback and needs.
We sincerely appreciate your participation in this survey and look forward to working with your organization to ensure that we are understanding the specific needs and challenges that your organization faces. We also look forward to assisting your organization in both the short and long-term to collaboratively address this shared issue.
If you have questions about the survey, intended audience, or would like to discuss the surveys or next steps, please contact the council.