Boulder County Passes Pollinator Protection Resolution!
September 2015 was declared "Pollinator Appreciation Month" by Boulder Mayor Matt Applebaum. To kick off the celebrations, Bee Safe Boulder partnered with the city to host a pollinator appreciation parade at the beginning of the regular Boulder City Council meeting on September 1st.
Boulder city recently passed Resolution 1159 banning the use of neonicitinoids on city property, but on Tuesday Boulder County enacted a similar, historic measure. This declaration, read aloud by Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones, stated the county's dedication to and plan for countywide bee safe practices. Read the full measure below!
In the News:
- Inside Boulder News: Pollinator Appreciation Month via City of Boulder
- Boulder County commissioners announce pollinator-protection plans via Times Call
Read the Resolution:
A RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING AND SUPPORTING POLLINATORS IN BOULDER COUNTY
Whereas pollinators of all kinds, including native bees, wasps, butterflies, and European honey bees, are a critically important part of our agricultural and food systems; their pollination of a significant amount of our food supply is extremely important to food production and is valued at $20 to $30 billion annually in the United States; and
Whereas many of the trees and plants that beautify our landscapes and form key elements of our ecosystems rely on pollinators to propagate and to contribute to ecological services, and
Whereas the decline in the population of pollinators, including commercial European honeybees, wild bees, butterflies, and birds, as well as invertebrates in soil and water systems, is of serious concern; and
Whereas the loss of habitat and food supply for pollinators through the use of pesticides, development resulting in habitat loss and other negative environmental impacts are contributing to this decline; and
Whereas, based on scientific studies and findings which indicate the inappropriate and unregulated use of pesticides pose unacceptable hazards to pollinators, President Obama has issued a Presidential Memorandum regarding the protection of pollinators; the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has banned the use of neonicotinoids on all 150 million acres of its National Wildlife Refuge System; and several U.S. cities and counties have taken steps to raise awareness of this issue and some have instituted bans on the municipal use of neonicotinoids; and
Whereas a large and growing body of independent, peer-reviewed scientific studies indicate that some of the most widely used classes of insecticides may adversely impact beneficial soil invertebrates and avian and aquatic organisms, contaminate water resources and soils, and translocate throughout all parks of plants contaminating the pollen and nectar that is gathered by pollinators; and
Whereas, in addition, residential, agricultural, and commercial use of chemical pesticides on crops, home gardens, public parks, public grounds, and other local and municipal areas poses risks to pollinators and aquatic invertebrates, and their introduction into the environment is often unintentional and/or inadvertent, since labeling is not required for some treated materials; and
Whereas the use of hazardous and persistent insecticides is not absolutely necessary to create and maintain healthy landscapes, gardens, and open spaces when alternative practices and products may be available; and
Whereas there is increasing concern by the public regarding the use, misuse, and presence of toxic chemicals, and growing community concern and desire to protect and support pollinators to ensure robust food production and natural ecosystems; and
Whereas Boulder County has undertaken a robust study on the health of pollinators in the County and will be documenting findings for the use and education of the public and other public institutions.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF BOULDER COUNTY, COLORADO, THAT:
- The County will strive to reduce and minimize all chemical pesticide use on County lands and in County buildings.
- Further, it is our policy that Boulder County will not apply neonicotinoid or other systemic insecticides on its County rights of way, along watersheds and ditches, on public trees and landscapes or in its buildings, with exceptions allowed only after consideration of both the necessity of treatment and of alternative treatments to achieve the necessary protection of those lands, trees, or landscapes.
- The County will create a comprehensive pesticide use policy across all departments that will specify when the use of pesticides may be considered and will provide guidance on such use.
- The County will work to enhance safe and healthy pollinator forage habitat on County lands, including revision of mowing policies where possible to allow wildflowers and other appropriate flowering species to flourish and feed pollinators.
- The County will continue to facilitate the transition of County owned agricultural lands to organic production by providing incentives to make it possible for farmers to make the transition from conventional to organic practices and will require integrated pest management to be the normative practice for farmers leasing county lands.
- The County will purchase landscaping materials, including plants and sees that have not been pre-treated with chemical pesticides.
- The County recognizes the importance of pollinators, and will support and actively engage in efforts to educate the broader community about integrated pest management and the actions the County is taking.
- The County will encourage businesses, schools, neighborhoods, households, municipalities, and other entities within the County, state, and federal governments to adopt pollinator policies similar to Boulder County's policies. This includes urging all parties, public and private, to reduce chemical pesticide application, especially systemic treatments such as neonicotinoids, and to create habitat that will support pollinators.
- Boulder County will create and support a multidisciplinary team that will develop effective and innovative ways to monitor pollinators, pollinator health, and their habitat; including working collaboratively with local universities and other professional organizations to support pollinator research on County Open Space and establish a baseline to monitor pollinator health.
- Staff will engage the public to share information about the work we are doing to protect and conserve pollinators in Boulder County.
NOW, the Boulder County Commissioners do hereby declare September 2015 as Pollinator Appreciation Month in Boulder County, encouraging all residents to recognize and celebrate the important role pollinators play in our environment and actively work to support and protect pollinators of all kinds in Boulder County.
ADOPTED this 1st day of September 2015.