Thanks to everyone who wrote in support of the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM) at Cornell University, whose imminent closure we warned you about back in January.
(The possibility of the program closing was one we were alerted to by Winston O’Buggy the January before that, when the program did not receive funding in the 2010 budget.)
The NYSIPM site now happily declares:
NYS IPM Program Saved by Stakeholders
Thanks to the efforts of concerned citizens, the IPM Program was funded with $500k for Agriculture and $200k for Community. We are working to restructure and will have plans announced soon. Thank You for your support!!
In a letter (PDF from the NYSIPM website), NYSIPM Director Donald Rutz and Assistant Directors Jennifer Grant and Curt Petzoldt write,
As most of you know, the existence of the New York State IPM Program was threatened during the most recent state budget process. During January, we informed you that the Program would be forced to close as of March 31.
However, during budget negotiations, some funding for the NYS IPM Program was restored. We are absolutely certain this would not have occurred without the tremendous support expressed by you, our stakeholders!!
In the 2011-2012 state budget $500,000 was appropriated for Agricultural IPM, and $200,000 was appropriated for Community IPM. The Agricultural funding is approximately half of the state funding received during the time the Program was fully staffed, but is the same as the 2010-2011 appropriation. Community IPM was previously funded at $400,000 in the 2008-2009 state budget, but has received no funds from the state for the past two years—so we are thrilled to have it back in the budget.
Although I wish the Community IPM program would have its 2008-2009 levels of funding restored, it is very good news that NYSIPM is not closing down this year and that they do have funding for Community IPM work for the first time in two years.
If you doubt the importance of this program to people who want to avoid or get rid of bed bugs, just refresh your memory as to the wonderful bed bug resources produced by NYSIPM (linked from the right sidebar on their website).
NYSIPM entomologist Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann has been a particularly helpful resource on bed bugs, educating the media and the public, and serving on New York City’s Bed Bug Advisory Board.
Congratulations to NYSIPM!