Systems (IFAFS) program has established a section concentrating on Biotechnology Risk Management ($3.4 million for fiscal year 2000, of which approximately $2.75 million is dedicated to Ecological Risk Management; USDA 2001b), but this may not be a recurring grant program within USDA. The budgets for these programs are small and the needs are so diverse, that many deserving issues are not funded. Validation testing grant proposals could fall between the main objectives of both of these programs.
Present public research programs, such as the Biotechnology Risk Assessment and Risk Management Programs will need to be expanded substantially to meet this need for postcommercialization testing. These grants may need to last longer than the average grant since many effects may not be seen until the crop has been grown for several years at the commercialized scale. In addition, these programs need to identify, clearly, program objectives that encourage research related to long-term monitoring. Such postcommercialization validation testing with well-crafted controls can provide solid experimental research data to form the scientific basis for decisions. The peer review process associated with such grants plays an important role in ensuring proper design of experiments. Some validation testing requires that the same location be examined for a long period of time and this may require specific targeting.
Recommendation 6.3: Present public research programs, such as in Biotechnology Risk Assessment and Risk Management, will need to be expanded substantially.
A multitude of individuals and private, local, state, and federal agencies manage the country’s abiotic (soil, water, air, nutrients, etc.) and biotic (organismal diversity) resources. Effective resource management relies on accurate and timely information on the extent, condition, and productivity of these resources and how they respond to management. Although historic calls for monitoring in natural areas such as in the national park system were made as early as the 1930s (Wright et al. 1933, Wright and Thompson 1935), it took until 1990 before the National Park Service initiated a natural resource inventory and monitoring program in select parks to aid in fulfilling its mission (Woodward et al. 1999). Many individuals and agencies are involved in long-term monitoring and research. Many formal censuses of animal species are regional in scale and short term in duration. Annual waterfowl surveys conducted to set hunting seasons and bag limits are a notable exception. Waterfowl popula-