- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York legislators have voted to authorize soil and water conservation districts to take steps to prevent and control non-native plants and insects considered invasive species.

The districts were established in counties to help deal with erosion and flooding.

Sponsors say 24 of the 58 districts two years ago reported being involved in efforts to control invasives, including 62 projects against weeds and treating more than 6,500 acres.

The bill would provide statutory authority to continue programs identifying, preventing and eradicating foreign plants and animals that threaten to displace natives.

Targets include the Spiny Water Flea, Eurasian Water Milfoil, Asian Long-horned Beetle, Purple Loosestrife, Giant Hog Weed, Japanese Knotweed, Black Swallow Wart, Japanese Honeysuckle, Mile a Minute Vine, Garlic mustard, Viburum Leaf Beetle, and the European Boar.

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