Virginia Legislation: Request for Study of the Sale and Use of Invasive Plant Species

Oriental bittersweet vines photo by Beverly Rivera

On January 13, 2021, Virginia Delegate David Bulova offered House Joint Resolution No. 527 to Conduct a Study of the Sale of Invasive Plants.  The resolution notes that “an invasive plant species is a plant that originates outside a region and causes damage to the environment, the economy, and human health after its introduction to a region.”  It further notes that “landscaping with invasive plants causes economic and environmental damage and impinges on the rights of neighbors on whose properties the plants encroach.”  Finally, the resolution sets forth that, “Virginia residents, state agencies, and local governments spend substantial amounts of money each year on the removal of invasive plants, many of which are still being offered for sale in the retail, landscape, greenhouse, and nursery industry, which exacerbates the problem.”

The bill would: 

  • Create a work group with broad representation to conduct a study to examine the following:
    • The sale of invasive plants by all entities;
    • The financial burden of controlling invasives on taxpayers and private citizens;
    • Measures to reduce and eliminate the use of invasive plants and to promote the use of native plants, such as labeling invasive plant species at point of sale, taxing the sale of invasive species, expanding the scope of the current noxious weed list; increasing education and outreach, and increasing use of native plants on local and state government properties.
  • Require the work group to report recommendations by December 1, 2021.

View the complete bill here.  Track the progress of the bill here.

Remember, Master Naturalists, we do not advocate for or against legislation or policy using our master naturalist status. 

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