State Plant Health Director
Plant Protection and Quarantine
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Helene Wright is the State Plant Health Director for USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine, responsible for all plant pest and disease programs within the State of California. She graduated in 1974 from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences. In 1976 she started with USDA as a Federal Grain Inspector and then came to APHIS two years later. She has held various positions within the Agency and has been responsible for some significant plant pest programs, such as Gypsy Moth and Grasshopper control, the Phytophthora ramorum and European Grapevine Moth programs in California, as well as several exotic fruit fly eradication programs. She provides oversight to the Mediterranean Fruit Fly Sterile Release Program in the Los Angeles Basin. She is also responsible for coordinating the export of agricultural products out of California making sure that industry adheres to the negotiated work plans. Her workforce numbers about 300 statewide. They are involved in inspecting incoming plant shipments, treating commodities when pests are found, pest survey detection and eradication, smuggling interdiction and export facilitation.
“I believe participation on the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee provides a great opportunity to interact with those sharing various perspectives on this issue. By working together we can safeguard the State’s natural resources and agricultural lands from these threats.”
I have no personal financial interest in any of the actions CISAC is likely to consider. My role will be to help ensure that federal government programs for invasive species are integrated with work done by the State of California and others.