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Annapolis, MD; April 10, 2014 – Representing the Entomological Society of America (ESA), Past President Robert Wiedenmann, Ph.D., testified today before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies to request robust fiscal year (FY) 2015 funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Forest Service.
The largest organization representing the professional and scientific needs of entomologists, ESA opposes proposed cuts to the Forest Service’s Forest and Rangeland Research program, which includes important invasive species research and development.
“I am proud to represent the Society and share our message to congressional appropriators that advances in entomology are crucial to protect against critical threats that impact our country’s economy, public health, and food security,” said Wiedenmann, who served as President of ESA from 2012-2013 and is the current head of the Department of Entomology at the University of Arkansas, where he conducts research on biological control of invasive insects and weeds. “Budget cuts to forestry and environmental sciences compromise our bio-economy and undermine ecological and economic sustainability.”
Specifically, Wiedenmann’s testimony emphasized the significance of the Pesticides Licensing Program Area at EPA, which provides science-based environmental oversight of the regulation and use of pesticides. He also addressed the Agency’s participation in the President’s FY 2015 Pollinator Health Initiative request, a $45 million proposed multi-agency collaboration between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, EPA, and other federal partners to study factors impacting honey bee health and to develop recovery efforts for pollinator populations. Additionally, he discussed the critical role the U.S. Forest Service has in combating the effects of invasive insects and weeds throughout national forests.
The Entomological Society of America is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 6,500 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, and hobbyists. For more information, visit http://www.entsoc.org.