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Recent Events


  • January 7, 2017 – RRISC President Scott Cameron presented a seminar at the Legislative Agriculture Chairs Summit of the State Ag and Rural Leaders (SARL) organization.  This year’s Summit was held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  His topic was how invasive species are harming native species to the point where native species end up being listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that invasive species are implicated in more than 40% of ESA listings.
  • November 30, 2016 – RRISC President Scott Cameron addressed the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on how conservative legislators can reduce the economic and ecological damage from invasive species, and the regulatory burden of the Endangered Species Act, by proactively pursuing strategies to combat invasive species at the local, state, and regional levels.
  • November 15, 2016 – RRISC President Scott Cameron presented and moderated a panel on National and International Policy Approaches for Key Stakeholders and Decision Makers at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases in Indianapolis, Indiana. He spoke on the opportunities to address invasive species in the 2019 Farm Bill.
  • October 25, 2016 – RRISC Vice President Rick Otis delivers the keynote address at the 19th Annual Meeting of the Southwest Vegetation Management Conference, in Flagstaff Arizona. He spoke on the theme of Transitions: Managing for a Changing Future, emphasizing what to look for on invasive species policy with a new President and a new Congress taking office in January, 2017.
  • October 17, 2016 – RRISC President Scott Cameron presented on success stories from partnerships for invasive species control at the annual meeting of the Wildlife Society, in Raleigh, North Carolina. There are numerous examples across the country of highly successful programs to reduce the risks from invasive species.
  • September 15, 2016 – RRISC hosts a seminar and Congressional staff lunch for the California Congressional delegation focusing on priority invasive species issues in that state, in cooperation with the California Governor’s office and the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
  • July 14, 2016–RRISC hosts Congressional staff for a showing of the film “Trees in Trouble” on the impact of invasive insect pests on the urban trees and natural forests of the Midwest, and presented a panel discussion of scientists from Harvard University, Michigan State University, and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, who discussed their research and policy priorities to protect the United States from the devastating environmental, economic, and social impact of invasive forest pests.
  • June 20, 2016–RRISC holds its 3rd Annual Congressional Reception and Awards Program on Capitol Hill. With over 100 people in attendance, 8 individuals and organizations were recognized for their excellence in reducing risks posed by invasive species in their regions. To view the press release for this event, click HERE.
  • May 19, 2016—RRISC President, Scott Cameron, is appointed by The Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC), representing the interests of non-governmental organizations. ISAC provides advice to the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) on invasive species issues, specifically developing strategies to strengthen national early detection and rapid response initiatives, addressing gaps in legal authorities, advancing education/outreach campaigns on invasive alien species, conducting analyses of high priority invasive species issues that affect multiple organizations, and increasing cooperative initiatives to address invasive species in our ecosystem. Scott joins 25 other members from diverse areas of expertise to guide the US government’s policy toward invasive species.
  • May 16, 2016 – RRISC is awarded the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence by the Local Independent Charities of America. Upon rigorous independent review, RRISC was able to certify, document, and demonstrate on an annual basis that we meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. These standards include those required by the US Government for inclusion in the Combined Federal Campaign, probably the most exclusive fund drive in the world. Of the 1,000,000 charities operating in the United States today, it is estimated that fewer than 50,000, or 5 percent, meet or exceed these standards, and, of those, fewer than 2,000 have been awarded this Seal. RRISC is proud to gain this recognition. For a press release of this announcement, click HERE.
  • May 5, 2016 – RRISC participates in a stakeholder meeting of the US-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. The two countries are seeking to remove the exemption from international phytosanitary standards affecting wood packaging bringing shipments across the US-Canadian border. RRISC urged the two nations to move ahead with eliminating the exemption, giving interested parties opportunity to comment on the necessary rule making.
  • February 25. 2016–At the request of the National Invasive Species Council, in conjunction with National Invasive Species Awareness Week, and in cooperation with the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus, RRISC organized a coalition of businesses, environmental groups, and professional associations to host a Congressional reception and educational fair, featuring invasive species-oriented exhibits from twelve government agencies and cooperators.  The USDA APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea was the keynoter at the highly successful event that attracted 200 people. For a congressional record statement from Representative Benishek, click HERE.
  • December 2, 2015 – RRISC hosts a seminar and Congressional staff lunch for the Florida Congressional delegation focusing on priority invasive species issues in that state, in cooperation with the Florida Governor’s office and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
  • December 1, 2015–RRISC President Scott Cameron testified before the Interior Subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on strategies for improving how the federal government deals with invasive species issues.
  • November 17, 2015–RRISC President Scott Cameron presented at, and moderated a panel discussion entitled “National and International Policy and Educational Approaches for Key Stakeholders and Decision Makers”, at the annual meeting of the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insect Pests and Diseases, Denver, Colorado.
  • November 16, 2015– In cooperation with the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus and the Congressional Wine Caucus, RRISC sponsored a seminar and reception on Capitol Hill focusing on pests of the wine industry.  The event, supported in part by the Loudoun Wine Growers Association and the Loudoun Wineries Association, featured speakers from USDA, University of California, and the Virginia Extension Service.
  • September 10th, 2015– RRISC is proud to endorse Congressman Curt Clawson’s House Bill 3202, the Lionfish Elimination and Prevention Act of 2015, which would add species of lionfish to the Lacey Act’s list of injurious species. For the official endorsement document, click HERE.
  • June 25, 2015 — RRISC holds its second annual Congressional Reception and Awards Program to recognize outstanding achievements in protecting America’s environment, economy, and public health from invasive species.  Congressmen Dan Benishek (R-MI) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) received awards for their leadership of the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus.  For detailed information on the other great award winners click HERE.
  • June 3, 2015 — RRISC signs a Memorandum of Understanding with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) under which RRISC will work with the private sector to boost compliance with  APHIS standards to reduce the risks of invasive forest insects, such as the ecologically and economically damaging emerald ash borer, from entering the US in contaminated wood packaging material. 
  • April 20th, 2015–RRISC presents a seminar for Congressional staff on the relationship among invasive cheat grass, increased frequency and severity of wild land fire across the West, and population declines of the greater sage grouse, which may be listed under the Endangered Species Act.  Presentations were made by the Dean and faculty of the University of Nevada Reno’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources.
  • February 25th, 2015–Congressional Representatives Dan Benishek (R-MI) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) chair a bipartisan caucus to raise awareness of invasive species impact in the US. For more information, click HERE.
  • February 18th, 2015–RRISC receives a grant from the Norcross Wildlife Foundation.
  • February 18th, 2015–Agribusiness giant, Syngenta, becomes the newest member of RRISC.
  • February 5th, 2015–The RRISC Board of Directors is pleased to announce the addition of The Honorable Harris Sherman as a Distinguished Advisor. Mr. Sherman is a former Undersecretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and Environment.
  • December 2, 2014–RRISC issues a press release quoting the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Invasive Species Caucus  congratulating RRISC on the IRS approval of its 501(c)(3) status, with details about how to donate. Click HERE to view a downloadable pdf of the release.
  • October 9, 2014 — The Internal Revenue Service approves RRISC’s application to be classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity organization, which makes RRISC’s contributors eligible to deduct their contributions on their federal income tax returns.
  • September 17, 2014 — RRISC’s President, Scott Cameron, was elected to the Steering Committee of the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases.  The Dialogue cultivates and catalyzes collaborative action among diverse interests to abate the threat to North American forests from non-native insects and diseases.
  • September 12, 2014– Board members of RRISC meet with officials at the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection to learn more about the issues surrounding wood packaging material and its link to bringing invasive species into the US. With a better understanding of how to tackle this issue, RRISC will seek to target problem areas in the supply chain, strive for compliance with the law, and promote best practices. Pleased with the progress of the meeting, RRISC president, Scott Cameron, had this to say. “The RRISC Board of Directors had a very productive meeting with Kevin Harriger and his leadership team from DHS Customs and Border Protection to explore how RRISC might partner with CBP to reduce the risks of invasive species introductions into the US through international trade. Several follow up activities were identified.”
  • July 30, 2014 — RRISC presents its vision for a national network of regional State-driven capabilities for early detection and rapid response to new invasive species introductions to the Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW). The concept was well-received by participating FICMNEW members.
  • July 22, 2014 — The Boy Scouts of America approves an Invasive Species Management Plan Template for use by all Scout camps. RRISC President Scott Cameron, as part of the BSA National Conservation and Environment Committee, contributed to the creation of the Template.  The Template can be accessed on the bottom of this page:  www.scouting.org/properties
  • July 15, 2014 — Westlands Water District  of California joins RRISC as an Institutional Member.
  • June 17, 2014 — RRISC celebrated its public launch event at a Capitol Hill reception in the offices of the Committee on Agriculture of the US House of Representatives.
  • June 5, 2014 — RRISC presents on a conceptual framework for Early Detection and Rapid Response to invasive species introductions at the annual National Meeting of the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units Network, a national consortium of federal agencies, tribes, academic institutions, state and local governments, nongovernmental conservation organizations, and other partners working together to support informed public trust resource stewardship. The CESU Network includes 354 partners, including 14 federal agencies in seventeen CESUs, representing biogeographic regions encompassing all 50 states and U.S. territories.

CESU Presentation

  • June 2, 2014 — RRISC files with the Internal Revenue Service for approval of its status as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.
  • May 21, 2014 — RRISC meets with the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s senior executive in charge of national invasive species policy and programs at FWS headquarters in Washington DC.
  • May 16, 2014 — RRISC presents on invasive species issues to a group of ten budget examiners from the White House Office of Management and Budget.  These staff oversees the budget, policy, legislation, and regulations of numerous federal natural resource agencies.
  • May 13, 2014 — RRISC presents its goals and plans to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee, a group established by the Secretary of the Interior under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, to provide advice to the federal government on invasive species issues.
  • May 2, 2014 — The RRISC Board of Directors votes to appoint the initial members of the Distinguished Advisory Board, consisting of former Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, former Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett, former Assistant Secretary of the Interior George Frampton, and former Assistant Administrator of EPA Tracy Mehan.
  • April 8, 2014 — RRISC Board of Directors adopts Bylaws.
  • March 24, 2014 — RRISC Board of Directors elects officers.
  • March 18, 2014 — RRISC’s website www.rrisc.org is launched.
  • March 7, 2014 — RRISC incorporates in Washington DC.

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