MITPPC needs your help at the Legislature in 2021
You can be part of the solution to terrestrial invasive species problems by asking your legislators to support the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center this legislative session.
The Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center started operating at the University of Minnesota in 2015 to solve complex terrestrial invasive species issues for the state. MITPPC currently funds more than 30 research projects with over 90 researchers. Click here for major research accomplishments from our first five years.
MITPPC relies on biannual requests to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) for research dollars. The ENRTF is funded by the Minnesota lottery, not taxpayers.
In 2020, MITPPC was recommended for $5 million through ENRTF. This bill ultimately never passed, for the first time in the history of the fund.
Our current ENRTF appropriation funds research through June 2023. Without receiving additional funding in 2021, operational funds will cease in June 2022 and MITPPC would effectively close.
What would be lost
Terrestrial invasive species cost Minnesota about $3 billion annually. Pests like Palmer Amaranth, soybean aphid, and spotted wing drosophila can decimate crops and destroy farmers’ livelihoods.
Forest pests like emerald ash borer, jumping worm, and buckthorn can harm timber production, cause flooding, and fundamentally change Minnesota’s forests as we know them.
There are currently more than 300 terrestrial invasive pests in Minnesota -- and more, like mountain pine beetle and giant hornets -- could be on the way. Without a Center dedicated to researching the prevention, detection, and management of these species, Minnesota will be left defenseless.
On April 5, funding for MITPPC was included in the amended House Omnibus Environment Bill, House File 1076. You can read the bill here and follow the status here. MITPPC was also included in the amended Senate Omnibus Environment Bill, Senate File 959. You can read the bill here and follow the status here. Contact your legislators and ask them to support HF 1076 and SF 959!
On January 19, Sens. Ingebrigtsen and Tomassoni introduced a companion bill, Senate File 166, and referred it to the Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee. Follow the status of that bill here.
On January 7, Rep. Rick Hansen introduced House File 30, a bill appropriating the 2020 ENRTF funds. On January 12, the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance & Policy Committee referred the bill to the House Ways & Means Committee. On February 8, the House Ways & Means Committee heard the bill. and adopted it as amended and recommended for placement on the General Register. The bill had its second reading and can now be considered anytime for a vote on the House Floor. Follow the status of that bill here.
How you can help
You have the power to help the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center receive funding in 2021. Please contact your state representative and senator -- find yours here -- and urge them to support funding for this critical research. Here are a few key messages:
- The research conducted at the Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center is critical to protecting Minnesota’s agriculture and natural resources, now and into the future.
- Terrestrial invasive species cost Minnesota’s economy $3 billion every year, and MITPPC is delivering science-based, practical solutions to help mitigate these problems.
- Invasive species are a complex issue, but there have been success stories. More solutions will continue to be found with stable, ongoing funding.
- MITPPC will close without funding this year. There is no back-up plan, and there is no other research center like MITPPC in the country.
- MITPPC needs $5 million this session from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
- Our proposals consistently get ranked very high by the review committee. This funding is not being held up because of merit.
- MITPPC researchers work all around the state to find solutions to TIS problems. This map shows only some
of our research locations.
Read letters from organizations who support MITPPC's request below.
We're proud to be supported by this diverse group of Minnesota farmers:
- Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, Minnesota Farmers Union, Minnesota Milk Producers Association, Minnesota Pork Producers Association, Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, Chicken & Egg Association, and the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council. Read their letter here.
- Joe Smentek, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association:
- Reginald DeFoe, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa:
- Brian Buhr, Dean, and Greg Cuomo, Associate Dean, University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resources Sciences:
- Neal Feekan, The Nature Conservancy:
- Nan Bailly, Alexis Bailly Vineyard:
- Bob Owens, forest products industry:
- Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Committee:
- Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association: