PLNA, AmericanHort Support Highway Bee Habitat
Monday, July 7, 2014
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With concerns over bee colony collapse mounting, PLNA and our national counterpart AmericanHort have come out in support of legislation to support planting along highways to enhance bee habitat.
Consumer concerns about insecticides and pollinators, bees in particular, have been growing. Most of the research strongly points toward bee parasites and loss of habitat/forage as being the primary actors.
Highways BEE Act
While we certainly need to know more about the role that pesticides might play in pollinator stress, PLNA and American Hort have come out in support of "Bettering the Economy and Environment Act" (Highways BEE Act, HR 4790) a bipartisan bill designed to improve bee and pollinator habitat along roadways.
The bill is co-sponsored by the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus co-chairs, Reps Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Jeff Denham (R-CA). It directs the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to use existing authorities, programs and funding to encourage and facilitate the establishment and/or maintenance of pollinator habitat along highway right-of-ways (ROWs) by willing state departments of transportation and other transportation ROWs managers.
17 Million Acres for Bees
Highway rights of way make up about 17 million acres in the U.S., which offers an incredible opportunity for increased habitat/forage for bees and other pollinators.
Much of what the industry has done recently has been to try and defend the need and utility of important insecticides in our pest management arsenal. This is a bill that the industry can get behind and help tackle one of the greatest challenges that pollinators currently face.
Sign onto Letter of Support
In June, PLNA and AmericanHort signed on to a letter in support of the bill. Many other state associations have done likewise.
For more information, please visit the Pollinator Partnership website (http://pollinator.org/BEEAct.htm). There, you can sign onto a letter supporting the legislation.