Successfully preparing for and responding to a SBW outbreak involves a number of governmental policy and regulatory issues that must be identified and addressed. Determining how responsibilities for monitoring and protection programs will be divided among state government, federal agencies, and private landowners presents a special challenge.
Key recommendations from the report for the policy, regulatory, and funding issues related to the next SBW outbreak, include:
- Reviewing the Spruce Budworm Management Act to determine whether any changes are needed given likely changes in roles and responsibilities between the state government and private landowners in managing the next SBW outbreak. This was accomplished during the 2015 legislative session, and the updated Act can be viewed here;
- Preparing legislation defining the regulatory process for determining an expedited response for areas categorized as high SBW risk where there is a strong likelihood of increased SBW activity;
- Maintaining an open dialogue among private landowners, state government, and the ENGO community. This began with a forum in November 2014 and is continuing largely through the Keeping Maine’s Forest partnership;
- Determining the personnel, funds, and timing needed to implement the required SBW monitoring within the Maine Forest Service, and how supplemental labor and financial assistance from forest landowners will be provided; and
- Working with the Maine Board of Pesticides Control to identify and address any obsolete or other policy issues associated with delivering aerial insecticides to large areas of forestland.