WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — Elected lawmakers are working to combat invasive species in the North Country.

March 3, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-NY, reintroduced the Stamp Out Invasive Species Act (H.R.1357) to Congress, aiming to bring awareness to impacts invasive species have on native ecosystems.

According to experts, approximately 50,000 non-native invasive animal and plant species have been introduced to the United States, which costs up to $100 every year.

Rep. Stefanik, who represents portions of Northern New York claimed that invasive species threaten Upstate New York and North Country ecosystems.

“Upstate New York and the North Country are home to the largest and most diverse ecosystem in New York State, including the Adirondacks, multiple lakes and rivers, and thousands of miles of trails, and I am committed to preserving it for our future generations,” Rep. Stefanik said in a press release. “I am proud to lead this effort in Congress to help raise awareness about the threat these invasive species pose to our natural ecosystems and fund research that will help combat these predators.”

If passed, this legislation would require the United States Postal Service to issue a “Combating Invasive Species Semipostal Stamp.”

The stamp would have to be on sale to the public for two years and the United States Department of Agriculture and Department of the Interior would then receive net proceeds from the sale of this stamp to combat invasive species.

H.R.1357, the Stamp Out Invasive Species Act, was first introduced to Congress in 2017. It was eventually referred to the Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research.

After being reintroduced in March 2022, it was supported by Representatives Garret Graves, R-LA; Ed Case, D-HI; Rick Crawford, R-AR; Mike Thompson, D-CA; Don Young, R-AK; Raul Grijalva, D-AZ; Aumua Amata Radewagen, R-American Samoa; and Darren Soto, D-FL.