Illinois Invasive Species Council
The mission of the Illinois Invasive Species Council (IISC) is to minimize the adverse economic and ecological effects that invasive species pose to the State of Illinois. To this end, the Council seeks to provide information and advice on invasive species to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, non-governmental organizations, the business community, and the general public.
The IISC Board is made up of key stakeholders on invasive species issues with representatives from state and local governments, the nursery and landscaping industry, ecological research institutions, and habitat-focused nonprofits. Meetings of the Board, and the topic-focused Committees reporting to the Board, are open to the public.
The Council was originally established in March 9, 2005 as the Illinois Invasive Plant Species Council, and was intended to address invasive plant species specifically. Since then, the Council has expanded its reach to include all invasive species and is not limited to plants. The Council's role is to:
- Provide recommendations to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture regarding species of potential concern to the State.
- Assist with cross-department/agency/organization coordination.
- Establish and define a network of experts to respond to an evaluate potential threats and risks.
- Increase communication, awareness, and implementation of approved strategies within the state.
- Utilize state and federal plans and protocols to make recommendations.
- Assist with inter-state outreach, education, and collaboration.
The Council Board oversees four Committees of topic experts, each focused on a specific species area. Each Committee is co-chaired by a Board member. The role of the IISC Committees is to:
- Develop, implement, and review Assessment Protocols for each species under review.
- Provide direction and recommendations to the IISC Board.
- Collaborate and facilitate the development and/or distribution of educational materials and resources.
The definition of Invasive Species according to IISC is as follows, "with respect to a particular ecosystem, any species that is not native to that ecosystem (including its seeds, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species) and whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm."