When it comes to keeping ecosystems healthy, pollinators such as bees and butterflies are mission-critical. Now the U.S. military is coming to their aid.
Tucked into a larger military spending bill that became law on the first day of 2021, Congress passed a provision aimed at protecting pollinators on the 11 million acres of federal land owned by the U.S. Armed Forces. The bill directs the military to abide by its own guidelines, created in 2018, for managing its lands in a pollinator-friendly way—adding native plants, preserving known nesting sites, and minimizing the use of pesticides.
“When our favorite pollinators return to greet the spring, we can find assurance in the fact that bees, butterflies and other important species will have new habitat in key areas around the country,” Malia Libby, Environment America’s Save the Bees associate, said.
Environment America worked with U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (N.M.) to ensure the provision’s inclusion in the final legislation.
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Photo: Just like bees from managed hives, wild bees have been disappearing at an unsustainable rate due to climate change and pesticides. Credit: Marek Walica via Shutterstock