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ALBANY The state Monday announced that a partnership will work on the local and regional level to fight invasive species.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens said that eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management have been established, with the last one recently formed in western New York.

"Invasive species can have a devastating effect, not only on the environment but also on the economy," Martens said in a statement. "By partnering with non-profits, universities, and consultants, New York is establishing one of the nation's most comprehensive approaches to invasive species management."

The state has battled a number of invasive species that can wreak havoc on the landscape and waterways, such as the zebra mussel and the giant hogweed, which can cause severe skin and eye irritation if touched and can grow as high as 14 feet tall. The partnerships have also sought ways to remove Emerald Ash Borer, an exotic insect that kills ash trees.

Each partnership includes local and state governments, conservation and trade organizations, academia, landowner associations and interested citizens.

"The vision for the state of New York's invasive species program is becoming a reality. The state's sustained commitment to advancing its invasive species program enabled the development of one of the most comprehensive frameworks in the country," Hillary Smith, chairwoman of the state's invasive species advisory committee.

On Friday, the DEC proposed new regulations to help control the Eurasian boar invasion.

A full list of all regulated and prohibited invasive species can be found here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/93848.html

The DEC has proposed new invasive species regulations that are open for public comment through Dec. 23. The proposed regulations can be found here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2359.html

For more information on the partnerships and the Invasive Species Task Force, visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/istfreport1105.pdf

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