|Posted:||April 3, 2020 03:46 PM|
|From:||Representative Stephen McCarter|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Legislation Providing for a Pollinator Conservation License Plate|
|Pollinators, such as honey bees, play an integral part of both managed and natural ecosystems, and are responsible for contributing about $24 billion to the United States economy. However, pollinators increasingly face a variety of challenges, including habitat loss due to land development, altered land use patterns, the effects of climate change, and exposure to pests, pathogens, pesticides, and other stressors. Understanding that the continued decline of pollinator populations could pose a significant risk to the economy and domestic agriculture industry, the federal government and several states have enacted legislation and initiatives aimed at bolstering pollinator populations.
According to the organization, Pollinator Partnership, one widely accepted method that is utilized by states to support the growth of pollinator populations is the establishment and support of roadside habitats programs. This is especially important since roadsides and right-of-way areas total more 17 million miles of potential habitat.
For far too long, we have taken the health and economic benefits provided by pollinators for granted. Because I believe strongly that Pennsylvania should join other states’ efforts to protect pollinators, I will be introducing legislation that would provide for the creation of a pollinator conservation license plate. Under this legislation, a Pollinator Habitat Program Fund would be established, into which $25 would be deposited for each pollinator conservation license plate issued. Money in the Fund would be appropriated annually to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to support roadside pollinator habitat initiatives.
Since pollinators play an integral role in sustaining ecological health, the food system, and the national economy, I believe that we should do our part to better understand, mitigate, and recover from the wide-scale loss of pollinator populations. I hope you will join me in support of this important measure.
Introduced as HB2802