Roadside Plantings for Bees and other Pollinators
From The Pollinator Partnership
Highways BEE Act: H.R. 4790 was introduced by Reps Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and Jeff Denham (R-CA) on May 30 and is strongly supported by the Pollinator Partnership (P2). Hastings and Denham are co-chairs of the Congressional Pollinator Protection Caucus (CP2C). Click Here for Additional Background. More information is also provided below the letter.
Deadline June 16—the first day of National Pollinator Week!
Who Can Sign:
- Organizations at all levels and types (national, state, local)
- Researchers, other individuals
Forward this Opportunity: To others who may be interested. Spreading the word helps! Can either forward this e-mail, or include this link with your personal note: http://pollinator.org/BEEAct.htm
GROUP LETTER IN SUPPORT OF HIGHWAYS BEE ACT
The undersigned support H.R. 4790, the Highways Bettering the Economy and Environment Pollinator Protection Act (Highways BEE Act).
Pollinators, such as honey bees and native pollinators, birds, bats, and butterflies, are essential to healthy ecosystems and are vital partners in American agriculture. Honey bees, monarch butterflies and other native pollinators are suffering drastic population losses, due in part to loss of habitat.
Highway right-of-ways (ROWs) managed by State Departments of Transportation (State DOTs) represent about 17 million acres of opportunity where significant economic and conservation/environmental benefits can be achieved through integrated vegetation management (IVM) practices, that can—
- Significantly reduce mowing and maintenance costs for State DOTs, and
- Help create habitat, forage and migratory corridors that will contribute to the health of honey bees, monarch butterflies and other native pollinators, as well as ground nesting birds and other small wildlife.
- Neighboring agricultural lands and wildlife ecosystems will benefit through improved pollination services.
The Highways BEE Act directs the Secretary of Transportation to use existing authorities, programs and funding to encourage and facilitate IVM and pollinator habitat efforts by willing State DOTs and other transportation ROWs managers, building on innovative IVM efforts in a growing number of State DOTs.
H.R. 4790 promotes conservation practices on 17 million acres of highway rights-of-way (ROWs) by encouraging willing State DOTs to reduce mowing and plant for pollinators, providing improved habitat for pollinators, ground nesting birds and other small wildlife.
Important to act quickly, as transportation reauthorization legislation appears to be on a fast track in Congress.
The goal is to get an amendment based on the Highways BEE Act in that important legislation.
This legislation is nearly identical to a bill introduced by Rep Alcee Hastings in 2011, and widely supported—by 28 national organizations and business, 175 regional organizations, 46 researchers and over 1,500 individuals. Regrettably, those good efforts fell short. We don’t want to fall short in helping pollinators this time!
Transmitted on behalf of Laurie Davies Adams, P2 Executive Director