Governor Mitch Daniels signed legislation (House Enrolled Act No 1203) that establishes a new Indiana Invasive Species Council in a public event at the State House on August 11, 2009.
The purpose of the council is to work with state and private organizations to identify priorities and projects, help secure funding, propose rules and laws, educate the public, and facilitate communication related to the growing threat of invasive species in the state. Members of the council will include representatives from state agencies, industry and environmental groups. The College of Agriculture at Purdue University will convene the group and serve as the secretariat for the council.
Present for the signing were Representative Robert Bischoff, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, and several members of the Invasive Species Task Force who drafted the legislation including Ellen Jacquart, Chair of the Task Force from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Lynn Dennis, Director of Government and Community Relations (TNC), John Miller, President of Oak Heritage Conservancy, and Steve Yaninek, Head of the Department of Entomology at Purdue University. Mary McConnell, the state director for The Nature Conservancy’s Indiana Chapter, was also present.
The legislation was drafted over a two-year period, passed by the legislature during the 2009 session, and formally became law on April 20th, 2009.