Model IPM Policy Framework
(Geared towards the development of IPM policies for public land
resource management settings.)
Copyright IPM Associates, Inc. 1993-1996. All rights reserved.
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This sample IPM policy was developed through work sessions with several
constituencies with an interest and/or stake in the development and
implementation of effective and economical administrative guidelines
for management of public lands:
This comprehensive information base was used to develop a policy that
not only reflects the requirements of implementing an IPM program in a
complex urban environment, but one that is responsive to the broad
range of concerns and needs of the public as well as administrative and
operational staff in charge of implementing pest management programs on
- IPM practitioners experienced with vegetation management in
- sports, and right-of-way areas;
- IPM coordinators, administrative staff, and operations personnel
for public agencies responsible for vegetation management in a variety
of settings (e.g., schools, parks, golf courses, greenhouses, urban and
rural roadsides, natural areas, utility corridors/substations); and
- public citizens interested in management of public
Of prime importance was developing a policy that would promote an
IPM program that:
As a result of this process and focus, the example IPM policy includes:
- addresses public and agency concerns about human health and
safety as well as environmental quality;
- is operationally cost-effective;
- supports maintenance of vegetation in a wide range of management
- Rationale for the title.
- A defined purpose.
- Statements of guiding principles and philosophy.
- A clear definition of Integrated Pest Management.
- A requirement for compliance with regulations pertinent
tvegetation and pest management.
- Specific components for individual IPM programs relative to their
- Descriptions of special roles and responsibilities for
implementing the IPM program.
2. Policy Title
The IPM policy is entitled: Vegetation and Pest Management Policy
to draw attention to the fact that pro-active management of desirable
vegetation (e.g., native, exotic, ornamental) is of paramount
importance in implementing IPM.
Healthy, vigorous plants are resistant to insect and disease
problems and enhance the quality of the environment. Direct control of
existing insect and disease problems is critical to the success of IPM,
but this work should not be the only focus of the pest management
program; it is essential that a substantial amount of effort in urban
IPM be devoted to landscape and facility design and construction as
well as cultural maintenance practices. Also, vegetation is emphasized
to clarify that the term "pest" pertains to weeds as well as to insects
and diseases. In fact, in most ornamental horticulture settings, weed
control is a key pest control requirement of the pest management
Section 1 describes its purpose and identifies the parties that are
subject to the requirements of the policy.
Section 2 identifies important concepts and approaches that will be
employed in managing vegetation and pests:
- an ecological approach to implementing IPM;
- minimizing pesticide use,
- protecting environmental quality and human health and safety;
- using a long-term approach to evaluating pest management
- coordinating implementation of the policy by all groups within an
organization that influence or have an impact on vegetation management
- consistent application of pesticide use regulations and
- providing staff training to facilitate policy implementation;
- the desirability of promoting landscape designs that incorporate
ecological and efficient approaches to vegetation and pest management;
- developing opportunities for the public to become informed about
ecologically sound methods of vegetation and pest management.
5. Definition of IPM
Section 3 includes definitions of IPM and other important terms and
concepts to provide an explicit meaning and common understanding of the
scope and intent of the specific actions that are required for
developing and implementing the IPM program. This information will also
facilitate effective communication between those affected by or
interested in the policy.
6. Regulatory Context
Section 4 ensures that staff and personnel directly or indirectly
involved in vegetation and pest management are aware of and operate in
compliance with legal requirements pertinent to these activities.
7. IPM Programs
Section 5 requires preparation of IPM programs by each/any part of an
organization that is responsible for or involved with:
These required programs incorporate two primary approaches to
vegetation and pest management:
- implementing vegetation and pest management practices, and
- the development, approval, and implementation of designs that
influence vegetation and pest management requirements and practices.
Requirements are outlined for each of the two types of IPM programs to
ensure their specific development and implementation.
- Treatment of existing or potential vegetation and pest problems
by direct management of the physical environment.
- Prevention/reduction of vegetation and pest problems by the
development of design improvements and education and training in
Together, these programs provide a comprehensive approach to pest
management that is composed of short and long-range pest management
strategies involving an integration of prevention, mitigation,
education, and direct control techniques.
Each program's monitoring, record-keeping, and data management
component provides information for effective program evaluation and
8. Roles and Responsibilities
Section 6 identifies special roles and responsibilities for
implementing an organization's IPM policy. The number and type of of
roles needed depends on a variety of factors specific to the
organization (e.g., size, structure, purpose). Minimum recommended
roles to define include:
- An IPM Program Coordinator (i.e, a person to oversee/support
day-to-day functioning of the IPM program)
- A Coordinating Committee (i.e, a group that represents all of
the stakeholders in an IPM program; they serve as an intermediary
between the staff and personnel responsible for implementing the IPM
program, the IPM Coordinator, and the organizations governing body
(e.g., Board of Directors; School Board); they provide a review and
recommendation function for implementation of the IPM policy)
- A Governing Body (i.e, the group that determines and is
responsible for an organization's policies, procedures, operational
guidelines, etc. and their implementation.)
8.1. IPM Coordinator
Experience has demonstrated that it is very difficult to effectively
initiate and coordinate a large scale urban IPM program without full
time guidance by a skilled leader who is able to facilitate and track
both the development of the technical aspects of the pest management
program and its broader administrative, political, and public relations
Fulfillment of this position or responsibilities reflects an
organization's understanding of and commitment to the amount and
diversity of work that is required for effective and economical
implementation of an IPM program in a complex urban environment (note:
while small scale IPM programs can be successfully developed and
implemented without staffing a full time coordinator position, it is
still necessary to provide routine oversight and coordination of the
That most communities in the United States and Canada with
successful, large scale IPM programs have staffed full-time IPM
Coordinator positions illustrates the importance of this job and the
amount of work involved in bringing a complex IPM program to maturity.
The sample policy outlines major areas of responsibility for an IPM
Coordinator, however, these responsibilities are not necessarily
complete nor have they been developed into a formal job description.
These tasks can be accomplished when a comprehensive list of
implementation requirements is identified during the development phase
of an IPM program. Job descriptions for IPM coordinators in other
communities may be useful in developing a scope of work for this
8.2. Coordinating Committee
A Coordinating Committee is usually charged with the approval and
evaluation of the key components of an organization's IPM program(s),
both before and after implementation.
This role provides a safeguard for genuine implementation of IPM,
including the selection and application of pesticides within the
guidelines of the IPM policy and program(s).
Because citizens are almost always included in a coordinating
committee, this group can play a key role in building public acceptance
and confidence in an organization's IPM program(s).
The recommended oversight and evaluation role for the committee can
be outlined in the policy in two forms: written and diagrammatic. The
written outline frequently includes statements requiring:
A set of criteria for the Committee's reviews and evaluations are often
included in the policy to provide specific guidelines for these
- the approval or rejection of IPM prescriptions, requests for
pesticide use, and individual
- IPM programs (e.g., landscape management; facility management);
- an annual review and report on the implementation of the IPM
The results of the committee's work gives the public an opportunity
to examine and measure the quality of implementation of an
organization's IPM program(s), the role of the IPM Coordinator, and the
activities of the Coordinating Committee. This information is generally
essential for developing public trust and confidence in the IPM
program(s), particularly with respect to pesticide use.
To clarify the role of the Coordinating Committee, the IPM
Coordinator, and any other groups in implementing an IPM policy, flow
charts can be developed to illustrate each of the policy's four major
decision and review process:
8.2.1. Routine IPM Prescriptions Approval Process
This flow chart illustrates the process for approval of all
prescriptions that are utilized in an organization's IPM program(s).
This approval includes an initial approval for new prescriptions, and
an annual review and evaluation of prescriptions that are routinely
implemented from year to year. The prescription approval process
includes non-chemical prescriptions as well as those that do, or may,
involve pesticide use.
- the Routine IPM Prescription Approval Process;
- the Pesticide Approval Process;
- the Special/Emergency IPM Prescription Approval Process;
- the IPM Program and Approval Process.
The purpose of reviewing non-chemical prescriptions is to ensure
that an effective IPM strategy has been well-developed and is genuinely
being implemented. This is a safeguard to prevent the development and
use of IPM strategies that are not likely to succeed - which may then
unfairly discredit the cost-effectiveness of the IPM program or provide
justification for the need for chemical use.
At the same time, a similar review and evaluation process for
routine prescriptions that use or may require pesticide use provides an
opportunity to examine the necessity for those applications, the
pursuit of measures for mitigating the need for the pesticide, the need
or opportunity to change products, the volume of use, application
practices, results, etc.
The guidelines of this process are intended as safeguards against
misuse of IPM prescriptions, to provide for routine review of pesticide
application practices, to document progress in implementing prevention
and mitigation strategies, and to help ensure monitoring and
record-keeping systems are being appropriately implemented and
evaluated. Each of these is essential in developing public trust in an
organization's implementation of IPM.
Figure 1. Routine IPM Prescriptions Approval Process
8.2.2. Pesticide Approval Process
This flow chart illustrates the process for requesting, reviewing,
evaluating, and approving pesticides that may be used as part of IPM
prescriptions that are implemented in routine management operations.
No pesticide may be applied in day-to-day operations unless the
product formulation has been subject to this review and evaluation
process, which is performed by the Coordinating Committee using
evaluation and ranking criteria outlined in the policy.
Requests for pesticide use must be submitted with a prescription
which describes the need and application strategy for utilizing the
pesticide. The prescription is a key element of the pesticide approval
process since the purpose, location(s), and method of application
influence the hazards involved with the use of a pesticide. The IPM
Coordinator is expected to assist in selecting chemical products that
are appropriate for specific application purposes and settings and to
help identify application procedures and tools that can be used to
minimize the hazards of planned treatment(s). The Coordinator can also
provide information about new products, pest resistant plant varieties,
and other methods for minimizing the need for and impacts of pesticide
The guidelines of this process are intended as safeguards for
limiting pesticide use to products and circumstances that can be
routinely implemented without jeopardizing environmental quality or
public health and safety. Assigning the review and approval of
pesticide products to the Coordinating Committee is important in
developing public trust and support for this process.
Figure 2. Pesticide Approval Process
8.2.3. Special/Emergency IPM Prescription Approval Process
From time to time, immediate pest management requirements involving
pesticide use may arise that do not conform to the guidelines
established for day-to-day operations as outlined in approved IPM
prescriptions. These circumstances might include, for example:
It is wise to anticipate such circumstances and to develop clear
guidelines for the decision-making process that will be used to select
strategies and prescriptions for managing pests when these problems
occur. This permits an immediate response when quick action is
required, but it safeguards the decision process to ensure that
important factors and appropriate levels of authority are included in
development and approval of final action plans. These are of
significant interest to a public that is concerned with pesticide use
on public lands. The flow chart below illustrates a special/emergency
prescription approval process that can be included in an organization's
- an uncommon pest that has the potential to spread rapidly and
cause serious economic or aesthetic damage to public lands;
- development of a condition that poses a serious threat to public
health and safety;
- the need to apply a pesticide in a "sensitive" area;
- necessary escalation of a routinely applied management strategy
(i.e., an operation that is significantly larger in scale than the
day-to-day routine - e.g., from spot treatment to broadcast treatment);
- the only effective treatment for a potentially serious new pest
problem involves the application of a chemical that has not been
previously reviewed and approved for use.
- the need to bring extensive pest problems under control when
moving from a rehabilitation site condition to a condition that can be
managed through a routine IPM maintenance program.
Figure 3. Special/Emergency IPM Prescription Approval Process
8.2.4. IPM Program Approval Process
This flow chart illustrates a process for evaluation, approval, and
review of an organization's IPM program(s). This involves an initial
program evaluation and approval as well as an annual review process.
It is similar to the process used for IPM prescriptions (see Fig.
1). However, two separate flow charts have been developed to clarify
the operational differences of the two processes and to note the
important and distinct role of each process.
While prescriptions are critical to IPM programs and involve the
specifics of pesticide use as well as prevention and mitigation
strategies for managing pests and pesticide use, they are but one
component of an IPM program. IPM programs involve other major
components (information, appropriate standards, monitoring,
record-keeping, communication, etc.) all of which must be properly
developed, implemented, and refined to achieve long-term program
Of special importance in this process is the requirement for the
Coordinating Committee to prepare an Annual Review and Report for all
IPM program activities. This document is usually developed under the
leadership of the IPM Coordinator who will be knowledgeable about the
IPM program(s) as well as the day-to-day operations involving
vegetation and pest management. This report helps fulfill the critical
review and evaluation requirements of the IPM process and provides
information and direction necessary for program improvement. It also
aids in developing public understanding, acceptance, and confidence in
an organization's IPM policy and program(s).
For the IPM Coordinating Committee to prepare the Annual Review and
Report in a timely and effective manner, each operational group with an
IPM program (e.g., landscaping vs. facility maintenance) should
implement monitoring, record-keeping, and information handling systems
at the earliest opportunity. Delays in developing systems to provide
information for program review and evaluation impede effective
implementation and add to the time and costs required to bring the
program to maturity.
Figure 4. IPM Program Approval Process
9. Policy Benefits
Together, the written requirements and criteria and the illustrated
processes included in the Roles and Responsibilities section of the IPM
Policy provide three valuable benefits:
- They safeguard and provide an effective response to the public's
interests in the implementation of IPM.
- They provide guidelines and support for effective program
- They promote compliance with existing as well as anticipated
regulatory requirements regarding pesticide use and implementation of
Last Modified: June 28, 1996
Source: IPM Access - An
Integrated Pest Management Online Service
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