July 9, 2008

Walter To Lead Invasive Species Efforts In Pennsylvania


Contact: Nicole L. Cullison, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, +1- 717-787-5085

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ashley Walter, a Purdue University graduate and national standout in invasive species management, has been named Pennsylvania's new invasive species coordinator, said Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff today.

Walter will work closely with the Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council and local, state and federal agencies to develop and implement an effective land and water invasive species management program for the commonwealth.

"Invasive species are a major threat to Pennsylvania's biodiversity and economy, and Ashley Walter is uniquely prepared to address invasive species issues across the commonwealth," said Wolff. "With her extensive experience battling invasive species through public outreach and field work, Ashley will be a strong leader in helping to control the movement of invasive species throughout the nation, protecting natural resources, public health and the economy."

Walter graduated from Purdue University with Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in entomology. While a student, Walter was an invited speaker at the U.S. Agriculture Department Interagency Research Forum on Invasive Species and Entomological Society of America meeting. Walter also participated in numerous public outreach events to provide hands-on experience with entomology to youth and promote awareness about invasive species like Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive beetle that destroys ash trees.

The Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council was formed in 2004 by Governor Edward G. Rendell to minimize the harmful ecological, economic and human health impacts of invasive species through the prevention and management of their introduction, expansion and dispersal into, within and from Pennsylvania.

Wolff chairs the council, which includes leaders from the Departments of Conservation of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection and Transportation. Other members include the Fish and Boat Commission and Game Commission, the Department of Health, agriculture and natural resource organizations and educational institutions conducting invasive species research and outreach.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us/pisc.

CONTACT: Nicole L. Cullison

(717) 787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

(c) 2008 U.S. Newswire. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.