SAF Updates National Position Statement on Invasive Species

March 16, 2023

The latest revision of the Invasive Species and Forests Position Statement was approved by the Board of Directors in December of 2022. Co-authored by Committee on Forest Policy members Ryan Armbrust and Tom Troxel, the updated position statement is a call to action for a broad base of stakeholders to engage in activities that are proactive, cooperative, and comprehensive when it comes to the prevention and detection of—as well as the response to—invasive species that impact forestlands.

“While the topic of invasive species is familiar territory to foresters and others working in natural resources, we recognized that a renewed emphasis regarding these threats was needed, especially given the compelling research that has been published since the last revision of this position statement,” said Ryan Armbrust. “One of the goals for this updated position statement was to better put these threats into proper context and then outline action steps that professional foresters and our wide array of partners can take to address them.” An important component of that growing body of research is its ability to capture the significant economic and ecological impacts of invasive species, both in terms of direct losses and the associated costs of management and restoration.

The background section of the position statement was expanded to include details and context on the history of invasive species, their impacts, our management options, and the critical need for invasive species management. In an effort to be precise and consistent in our wording, we also included a new section that defines key terms used throughout this position statement. These definitions are primarily sourced from the SAF Dictionary of Forestry, second edition.

A highly informative and educational document, the updated position statement provides clarity on a rapidly growing and evolving field. As our community works together to define, describe, and assess the threat of invasive species, it’s imperative that we regularly reflect and document what we know. This updated position statement will help facilitate a better understanding of invasive species management both within and outside of the forestry community.

We would like to thank Ryan Armbrust and Tom Troxel of the Committee on Forest Policy for their work as lead authors on this position statement. We’d also like to thank the entire Committee on Forest Policy, the Forest Science & Technology Board, the North American Invasive Species Management Association, SAF Working Group members, and SAF’s Board of Directors for their contributions.

In addition to the position statement, SAF developed a shareable briefer that summarizes the statement and social media graphics to educate decision makers and the public. Members are welcome to share these resources with their networks.

Download the briefer and the graphics here: 

Visit the policy webpage to explore all of SAF’s National Position Statements.