Invasive forest pests have seriously harmed our environment and imposed significant costs on our economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the lead agency for responding to forest pests and coordinates with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prevent pests from entering the country. GAO issued two reports in 2006 on these programs. This testimony describes (1) the status of USDA's efforts to eradicate the Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer, and Phytophthora ramorum; (2) the factors affecting the success of those eradication efforts; and (3) areas of continued vulnerability in regard to preventing the arrival and spread of forest pests.
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