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May 19, 2008   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
May 19, 2008

At the sixth annual Alabama Invasive Plant Council conference, 22 state and federal officials and private entities agreed to combat the invasive plant, congongrass.
COLUMBIANA, Ala. -- The Alabama Farmers Federation was among 22 stakeholders who recently signed an agreement to help combat the invasive plant, cogongrass.

At the sixth annual conference of the Alabama Invasive Plant Council in Columbiana on May 13, the stakeholders -- federal and state agencies as well as private entities -- officially entered into a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) to team up in the fight against the non-native invasive plant.

According to the Alabama Forestry Commission, the purpose of the MOU is to establish a mutually agreeable framework for collaboratively combating the short- and long-term effects of the grass within the state. Furthermore, all parities agreed it is to their mutual benefit and the natural environment of the state to work cooperatively to educate, train and share technology between partners and the public about cogongrass and the serious impacts this plant could have if left unchecked. By signing the agreement, the partners committed to facilitating a voluntary and cooperative effort in providing a means of control, suppression or eradication of this pest species across Alabama.

"All of these partners fully recognize the threat that congongrass poses to the farmers, ranchers, foresters, private landowners, as well as to public lands within Alabama," said State Forest Linda Casey. "This partnership brings all the stakeholders together to eliminate this destructive weed. ... A united front will strengthen us across all boundaries so that we will be able to better leverage our resources and more effectively provide service and protection to the people and landowners of Alabama."

In addition to the Federation, other authorized representatives from the following cooperators signed or have agreed to sign the MOU: Alabama Forestry Commission; Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries; Alabama Department of Transportation; Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries; Alabama Cooperative Extension System; Alabama Soil and Water Conservation Committee; Alabama Invasive Plant Council; Auburn University; Alabama Cattleman's Association; Alabama Forestry Association; Alabama Wildlife Federation; Resource Management Service, LLC; USDA Farm Service Agency; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine; USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection, Southern Region; USDA Forest Service National Forests in Alabama; USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station; US Army Corps of Engineers; Custom Air and Herbicides Plus, LLC; and UAP Distribution, Inc.

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