Invasive Species: The Newest Threat to Property Rights

September 27, 2004

If you have foreign weeds, grass, trees, or shrubs on your property (and you most certainly do), you’re in trouble.  Under “Invasive Species” provisions currently sitting in the Senate’s version of the Federal Transportation Bill (S. 1072), your property could quickly become the target of radical environmentalists and bureaucrats.

Imagine the Endangered Species Act on steroids. Now multiply its devastating effect on property rights by one million. That should give you a pretty good idea of what “Invasive Species” legislation will mean for property owners in every state, county, city and suburb in the nation.

“Invasive Species” is the radical Greens’ and international socialists’ key to controlling every square inch of land in the United States.

This nightmare all began when Bill Clinton signed Executive Order 13112 in 1999, creating an “Invasive Species Council” to monitor and control “alien species.”  What are alien species?  According to Clinton’s Order, “alien species means, with respect to a particular ecosystem, any species, including seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native to that ecosystem.”

Most agricultural crops and animal species clearly fall within the definition of “alien.”  Domesticated pets, many houseplants, and Kentucky bluegrass used in most lawns and golf courses would also be defined as alien species.  Indeed, this is all the Greens and their allies in the federal government need to control all land in the U.S.

Think the Invasive Species monster can’t get any worse?  It already has.  In 2001, the Invasive Species Council issued a management plan that states:  “Council member agencies will work with [the] Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) and other relevant bodies to expand opportunities to share information, technologies, and technical capacity on the control and management of invasive species with other countries, promoting environmentally sound control and management practices.”

And just what is the Global Invasive Species Programme?  A quick trip to the GISP website reveals it is:

– The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)

– The United Nations Environmental, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

– The Convention on Biological Diversity

– The Nature Conservancy

– The International Union for the Protection of Nature

– DIVERSITAS: An International Programme of Biodiversity Science (another UNESCO project)

It’s very easy to see how Invasive Species legislation will open the door to almost total federal and international control over private property in the United States.  And that’s why Greens in the Senate are trying to sneak it in via the Federal Transportation Bill without proper debate.

It must be stopped.  There is no time to lose.

Both the Senate and the House have already passed their respective versions of the Federal Transportation Bill, and are currently conferencing to put forth a single bill.  Fortunately, the House version of the Federal Transportation Bill does not include any Invasive Species language, but the Senate version does.

S. 1072 contains provisions that allow for government to control your land using Invasive Species policy. Specifically, it would give the Department of Interior the power to decide which plants, animals, fish, birds and insects are “invasive.” Once it’s discovered your property is home to an invasive species, the feds will have all the justification they need to oversee, manage, and regulate your property.

This is why we must make absolutely certain that the House version is the one that emerges from conference, not the Senate’s!

Here is the action to take:

1. Call property rights friend, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and ask him to make sure that no invasive species language appears anywhere in the final Transportation Bill.  Senator Inhofe is the Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee.  Be polite, and explain why the Invasive Species provisions in S. 1072 are so incredibly dangerous for property rights in America.  Property rights advocates are counting on him!  Senator Jim Inhofe’s phone number:  (202) 224-4721.  To e-mail Senator Inhofe go to:

2. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) has become the Greens’ best buddy on this Invasive Species scam.  He’s the number one advocate for the ruinous Invasive Species language in S. 1072; property rights be damned.  Perhaps you’d like to call or e-mail Senator Crapo with your thoughts on this matter. Senator Mike Crapo’s phone number:  (202) 224-2806.  To e-mail Senator Crapo go to:

Our nation’s Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution that protected property rights, understanding that it is the keystone of our economy. If the Invasive Species program becomes the law of the land, it will spell the destruction of property rights.

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods ( He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.