U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Plant Protection & Quarantine (APHIS PPQ)

APHIS-PPQ safeguards agriculture and natural resources from risks associated with the entry, establishment, and spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds. APHIS-PPQ has a broad, active program in invasive species detection in Georgia, including cooperative agreements with several state agencies. The Pest Detection Program identifies the top foreign insects, diseases and plants that pose a high-risk to agriculture and natural communities of Georgia. The program sets traps, inspects materials that would provide an entry pathway, and develops outreach information for the public regarding identification of exotic pests and how to report any suspects to state or USDA personnel. APHIS-PPQ has a Plant Inspection Station at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport which identifies invasive species found in cargo and passenger baggage. APHIS-PPQ personnel at the cargo container port in Savannah inspect agricultural products for invasive species and monitor traps around the port environs for earliest possible detection of new species. APHIS-PPQ also develops and implements response plans, along with state cooperators, for eradicating, controlling or managing new invasive species when they are discovered. Its Smuggling Interdiction & Trade Compliance group in Georgia and 10 other Southeast Central States has a mission to monitor the marketplace (e.g., food markets) for harmful, prohibited products. U.S. Department of Agriculture - Forest Service: The Forest Service manages 191 million acres of federal lands for many purposes, including protection from invasive weeds, and is the USDA’s lead agency for nuisance weed control. The Service’s Invasive Species Program uses experimental forests and research field stations to study the reproductive biology, dispersal rates, and distribution of invasive forest species. Current projects focus on a number of topics, including the use of herbicide in controlling nonnative forest plants, understanding and managing exotic forest pathogens and diseases, and assessing the effects of invasive amphibians in natural wilderness areas. Working with state forestry agencies in conjunction with land grant colleges and universities, the Forest Service conducts herbicide efficacy trials on cogongrass, privet, Japanese climbing fern, and wisteria in South Georgia. The Service, together with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, also conducts invasive species control demonstrations using various herbicides, rates, and timing. Along with state partners or professional organizations such as the Society of American Foresters and the Georgia Vegetable Manufacturers Association, the Forest Service provides training in the identification, control, and biology of invasive plants.