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Aquatic invasive species leaders gather to discuss regional threats
Jackson - Next week experts on invasive species will gather in Wyoming to discuss the most pressing issues on aquatic invasive species management. The Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (WRP) will hold its annual meeting in Jackson on October 19-21. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is hosting the meeting. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) cause tremendous damage to municipal, agricultural and natural water systems.

Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to irrigation systems, drinking water sources and all of Wyoming rivers and lakes. These species require comprehensive management strategies to protect water resources. Wyoming has an AIS prevention program that works to educate the public about AIS and stop the spread in the Cowboy State.

“Each year Wyoming inspects thousands of boats entering Wyoming from all fifty states. We work to stop aquatic invasive species at our check stations and keep them out of the state,” said Beth Bear, AIS coordinator with Game and Fish and WRP executive committee member.

Whether conducting boat inspections, monitoring waters, or developing habitat restoration plans, managers and biologists work in a fast-paced environment where they must anticipate and react to damaging aquatic invasive species.

“The WRP Annual Meeting is an important gathering for those dealing with invasive species,” said Bear. “Keeping the communication lines open is critical in protecting our water resources from invasive species.”

The WRP Annual Meeting is a public event, and anyone who is interested in AIS, prevention, and education is invited to attend. The WRP addresses both coastal and freshwater management issues that deal with aquatic invasive species. During the annual meeting participants will learn from informative lectures and discussions to foster coordination of aquatic invasive species management among western states. To learn more about the WRP and its annual meeting, please visit

“The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has stepped up to host the annual meeting,” reports Leah Elwell, Coordinator for the WRP. “The department’s determination to bring together invasive species experts for this meeting is indicative of their strong program to deal with AIS in Wyoming.”

The Western Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species was formed in 1997 to help limit the introduction, spread and impacts of aquatic nuisance species into the Western Region of North America. This panel of public and private entities was formed by a provision in the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (P.L. 101-636), the amendment to the 1990 Act. The WRP membership has representatives from state, federal, tribal agencies as well as entities from academia, business interests, and non-profit entities. As host the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is not incurring any additional costs, but is helping to provide leadership in planning and organizing.

(Wyoming Game and Fish (307) 777-4600)

- WGFD -