Planning for Prevention of Invasions of Hitchhiker Contaminates

Invasive species, diseases and parasites often move from place to place as undetected hitchhiker contaminates contained within pathways. Natural resource agencies could inadvertantly provide pathways for invasions through their work unless protocols are developed to prevent and remove hitchhikers. Strategic planning which identifies and removes contamination risks is necessary to craft effective protocols or best management practices (BMPs). HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a strategic planning tool developed by Pillsbury Foods in the 1960s to ensure product safety in food produced for the space program. Its straightforward planning logic has been modified slightly to serve as a pathway management tool. Sequential steps in HACCP guide planners to ask the right questions to identify hazards and define effective BMPs to prevent, remove or reduce pathway contamination. Strategically examining complexes of linked actions focuses preventions with impact at key pathway junctures. HACCP is the world gold standard in food production to prevent and remove contamination for a reason. This simple planning strategy could prevent impacts to resources, people, and species by preventing invasions. Often, irreparable damage is done to the environment and economy through unintended introductions. Human mediated introductions are not accidental. Unintentional introductions are a result of failure to plan. HACCP plans help managers prioritize resources and base decisions on facts which will prevent introductions. This presentation describes how universally applying a HACCP concept to an intra- or interstate pathway is a good business strategy for natural resource professionals. A national and international support system has been developed at www.HACCP-NRM.org

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3091