THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES FUNDING TO HELP PROTECT CALIFORNIA GRAPE INDUSTRY FROM INVASIVE PEST WASHINGTON, DC--Vice President Al Gore and Secretary Dan Glickman
announced today that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is declaring an agricultural emergency in the State of California and providing $22.3 million to help the State control and eradicate a non-native pest called the glassy-winged sharpshooter.
"This pest could devastate California's grape and wine industry," said Vice President Al Gore. "If we don't step up eradication and control efforts, we could see substantial agricultural losses in the future."
The glassy-winged sharpshooter, a non-native species of leafhopper, is responsible for spreading the bacterium Pierce's disease, which affects grapes, tree fruits, almonds, and many other crops. There is no treatment for the disease, which reduces fruit production and ultimately kills infected plants. Ten California counties are known to be infested with the glassy-winged sharpshooter, including Kern, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Fresno and Tulare counties.
The federal funding provided by USDA will be used to bolster state efforts to control and eradicate the pest. The State of California is contributing $14.8 million to the control and eradication campaign. The funding will be used to conduct state-wide surveys, control operations, an educational campaign, and research.