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The Paradox of U.S. Alien Species Law

March 2005

Citation: ELR 10179

Author: Marc L. Miller

Non-indigenous species (NIS) have increasingly come to be recognized in scientific and popular arenas as one of the most significant threats to biodiversity. That recognition has yet to extend to law and policy, which, in the United States, remain fractured and incomplete. This Article surveys the most significant of the many bits and pieces of U.S. federal law that relate to prevention and control of NIS, and argues that a more coherent and powerful legal framework is needed to address the NIS problem.

The author is Associate Dean for Faculty and Scholarship and Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law. E-mail: mmiller@law.emory.edu. He would like to thank Greg Aplet, Anita Bernstein, Bill Buzbee, Nick Fabian, Peter McAvoy, Richard Orr, Keith Pitts, Sarah Reichard, Robert Schapiro, and Ron Wright, each of whom offered insights on earlier drafts, and Stephanie Allen, Terry Gordon, Jason Herman, and Wendy Phillips for research support. The author wishes to express his appreciation for the insights into invasive species policy and politics provided by the National Invasive Species Council Policy and Regulation Working Group, which he served as nonfederal co-chair. See Interim Report: Policy and Regulation Working Group of the Invasive Species Advisory Council (2000), available at http://www.invasivespecies.gov/council/PR%20interim%20final2%20703.doc (last visited June 10, 2003). [Editors' Note: This Article is excerpted from Harmful Invasive Species: Legal Responses (Marc Miller & Robert Fabian eds., Envtl. L. Inst. 2004). The book, now available from the Environmental Law Institute, describes the law and policy regarding harmful non-indigenous species in six countries: Argentina, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, and the United States. The book also addresses three international and cross-cutting dimensions of harmful non-indigenous species policy: quarantine systems, trade issues, and the special concerns raised by genetically modified organisms. For more information and to order, visit http://www.elistore.org/books_detail.asp?ID=10930.]

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