Senator Mike Rounds gets credit for paying attention to this blog (you know they read Dakota Free Press in Washington) and supporting legislation to expand habitat for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators:
U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today joined Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) to introduce new, bipartisan legislation to help states create pollinator-friendly habitats along roads and highways. This legislation would help address the steep decline of pollinator populations, which poses a serious threat to American farmers and the American food supply.
“Bees play a vital role in making sure food gets on our table, acting as pollinators for approximately one-third of all agricultural products in the U.S.,” said Rounds. “Our legislation seeks to use innovation and targeted conservation practices to protect and improve bees’ natural habitat so they can continue to provide this essential service and make certain future generations of crops and plants are produced.”
Specifically, the Monarch and Pollinator Highway (MPH) Act of 2019 would establish a federal grant program available to state departments of transportation and Indian tribes to carry out pollinator-friendly practices on roadsides and highway rights-of-way [Office of Senator Mike Rounds, press release, 2019.11.20].
Rounds cites the USDA to say that 35% of the world’s crops depend on pollinators. The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations say its more like 75%. Either way, if pollinators don’t have habitat, we won’t have as much food. Support your local bees and butterflies—support Rounds’s Monarch and Pollinator Highway Act!