USDA / USFW Insect Permits

Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX Norbert.Kondla at
Mon Jun 19 11:11:42 EDT 2000

Hi Wayne.  I appreciate that as a federal gov employee you are not able to
publicly criticize or poke fun at the legislation passed by your employer
and that you must be visibly supportive of the new legislation.  Those of us
who do not get our pay check from the same employer are free to engage in
public comment and discussion.  So you and other regulators are stuck with
doing the best you can with the legislation, money and time that you have.
Prudent use of these resources and keeping in mind the public interest in
not letting animals trash plants that are themselves endangered or which are
of economic importance; suggests that regulatory activity would be best
focussed on animals that truely are plant pests and do not waste time on
those things for which there is no evidence of pest status.  Most taxpayers
will appreciate the purpose of the legislation and will appreciate true
public service that is consistent with the purpose/intent and which provides
a service rather than a hindrance.  The fact that the legislation allows for
all butterflies to be treated as pests to be regulated does not mean that
they all have to be treated that way - just pick on the ones that are :-)
and your taxpayers will compliment you on doing a good job.

-----Original Message-----
From: Wayne.F.Wehling at [mailto:Wayne.F.Wehling at]
Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2000 3:06 PM
To: LEPS-l at
Subject: USDA / USFW Insect Permits

I am enjoying the discussion regarding USDA permits.  However, in my initial
posting I pointed out that if the discussion wandered too far astray it
would be
of little use for the purposes that I lined out in the initial post.  I
like to gather useful information that can be talked over at Wake Forest
see my post from 6/13).

I would like to address/clarify (I hope) some points that have arisen.

1)  It took me sometime to understand the use of "Plant Pest" as it is used
the Code of the Federal Register (CFR) and, thus, by USDA.  This is, as I
in my post on 6/14, any insect that feeds on a plant (please see item #4 in
6/14 post).  This is deeply engraved in Federal Legislation and the CFR and
not going to change.  We have all come to understand that a "plant pest" is
organism that is injurious to plants of interest to humans.  This is not the
definition used by the federal government.

2) The USDA has the authority to regulate import and interstate movement of
Lepidoptera.  This includes the monarch and others that don't have a
impact on agriculture.

3) Because the monarch is a "plant pest" the USDA regulates the monarch
butterfly in order to uphold compliance agreements for the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  It is the USDA's
to regulate the monarch because it is, by definition, a plant pest!

4) It will not be possible to exempt groups of Lepidoptera from regulation
without a thorough risk assessment.  Risk assessments are a fundamental tool
connecting scientific evaluation with government oversight.  Unfortunately,
risk assessments need to be done and the staffing is not available to
the task.

5)  The views of state officials regarding the definition of "plant pest" as
posted by others following this thread are simply misinformed.

6)  I have been told that President Clinton has signed the Plant Protection
and the USDA will have one year to establish the regulations for
the act.


Wayne Wehling

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