|Posted:||January 4, 2019 01:42 PM|
|From:||Representative Brett R. Miller|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Native Vegetation Along Pennsylvania’s Highways|
|In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation to direct the Department of Transportation to plant vegetation which has been identified by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources as being native to Pennsylvania.
Through the years, non-native plants have been introduced throughout the state with some of them becoming noxious and invasive resulting in substantial disruption to the state’s ecosystem. Plants that are native to Pennsylvania are part of the state eco-system and their use throughout the Commonwealth helps to maintain the environmental balance that has been developed over many years. These native plants, when planted along highways, will thrive because they are better adapted to local conditions. Further, native vegetation is also more likely to support wildlife while discouraging invasive plant species.
This legislation will require PennDOT to develop a list of native vegetation species that can be used in roadside work that is done throughout the state. The use of specific species in a given area will be based on the recommendations of the PA Department of Agriculture’s Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee.
Last session, this bill was introduced as HB 2131. It passed unanimously out of the House Transportation Committee and out of the House by a vote of 194-1. The legislation then passed unanimously out of the Senate Transportation Committee but session ended before the bill achieved final passage. As a co-sponsor of this bill last session, I spoke with Rep. Quigley and he encouraged me to re-introduce the bill in hopes of it achieving final passage this session.
Co-sponsors from last session include: Quigley, Charlton, James, Mentzer, B. Miller, Ward, Wheeland, and Zimmerman.
By requiring the use of native plants as part of the roadway work of PennDOT, we can help control invasive plants and promote the restoration of native vegetation throughout the state. I urge you to join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB447