Legislation: Regulation of Invasive Plant Species
Citation and link to full text: Ohio Revised Code 901.50
Responsible agency and link to landing page: Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA)
Related regulations: Ohio Administrative Code 901:5-30
Advisory body and link to landing page: Ohio Invasive Plants Advisory Committee (no website currently – meetings are announced on ODA’s Division of Plant Health calendar)
Roles of legislation and related regulations: The Regulation of Invasive Plant Species law clarifies that the Director of ODA has sole authority for regulating invasive plant species in the state, including developing a list of invasive plants. The associated rules, which went into effect in January of 2018, establish a list of invasive plants in Ohio, establish prohibited acts and exemptions, and create the Ohio Invasive Plants Advisory Committee.
Key definition(s): The Ohio Invasive Plants Advisory Committee is considered a part of ODA for the purposes of providing advice to the Director on matters regarding invasive plants, including but not limited to the identification of invasive plant species and cultivars and the establishment of prohibited activities regarding those species and cultivars. Its membership must include Directors (or designees) of three specified state agencies and representation from several defined stakeholder sectors.
Invasive plant species, woody plants only (see regulation link above for full list):
|Amur bush honeysuckle
|Morrow’s bush honeysuckle
|Tatarian bush honeysuckle
Frangula alnus syn. Rhamnus frangula
- Selling, offering for sale, propagating, distributing, importing or intentionally causing the dissemination of invasive plants.
Exemptions: Activity related to the disposal, control, or treatment of invasive plant species is broadly exempt. Activity related to research or education may be exempted upon establishment of a compliance agreement with DOA. The provisions of the rule as they relate to Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) do not go into effect until 1/7/2023.
Cultivar exemptions: The ODA Director may exempt cultivars of invasive plant species from regulation if presented with evidence that the cultivar is not invasive. It is not clear what the procedure for notifying the public of these decisions would be. No cultivar exemptions are in evidence to date.
Process for species selection/addition: The Ohio Invasive Plants Council, which is a non-profit group separate from state government and is thus different than and separate from the Ohio Invasive Plants Advisory Committee, has been conducting invasive plant assessments since 2014. There is strong correlation between the plants that the Ohio Invasive Plants Council ranked as invasive and the regulatory list of invasive plant species, but they are not identical.
The Ohio Invasive Plants Advisory Committee will be responsible for identifying invasive plants for potential regulation by ODA. The process for this activity is still in development, but it is likely that the Advisory Committee will review and consider assessments conducted by the Plants Council and translate them into regulatory recommendations. Final decisions on additions to the Ohio Invasive Plant Species regulation come from the Director of ODA.
Photo Credit: A park visitor enjoys forested ledges in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Photo: National Park Service)