VDACS Solicits Comments on State Pollinator Protection Plan
Interested parties may attend one of seven meetings around the state or submit comments in writing
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has announced the meeting schedule for the Agency’s State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan. VDACS will hold seven meetings around the Commonwealth to give stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on the development of the plan.
VDACS’ development of a pollinator protection plan is part of a national effort by state and federal departments and agencies to reverse pollinator losses and help restore pollinator populations. Virginia’s Pollinator Protection Plan is a voluntary, proactive approach which focuses on enhanced communication and coordination among agricultural producers, landowners, pesticide applicators and beekeepers as a means to further protect pollinators. The Virginia plan will be intended to reduce the potential for pesticide exposure to managed bees that are adjacent to, or near a pesticide treatment site. The Virginia State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan will not be intended to prohibit, eliminate, or further restrict the legal application of pesticides. The final plan will be developed based upon the input received from stakeholders and taking into consideration the feasibility and cost effectiveness of each component of the plan.
The purpose of the seven listening sessions is to: (i) provide an overview of the EPA’s guidance to state lead pesticide agencies in developing state pollinator protection plans, (ii) seek input from stakeholders on the critical elements that should be included in Virginia’s plan and (iii) provide an overview of the critical elements VDACS is proposing for inclusion in the State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan.
VDACS invites all interested stakeholders to participate in these listening sessions and provide comments related to the Virginia State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan. Meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the following locations for the listed dates:
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
John Barton Payne Community Room
2 Courthouse Square
Warrenton, VA 20186
Thursday, January 28, 2016 South County Library
6303 Merriman Road
Roanoke, VA 24018
Monday, February 01, 2016 Southern Piedmont Agriculture Research and Extension Center (AREC)
2375 Darvills Road
Blackstone, VA 23824
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 Virginia Department of Forestry
900 Natural Resources Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Thursday, February 4, 2016 Tuckahoe Area Library
1901 Starling Drive
Henrico, VA 23229
Monday, February 22, 2016 Tidewater AREC
6321 Holland Road
Suffolk, VA 23437
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Painter AREC
33446 Research Drive
Painter, VA 23420
For the purposes of the Virginia State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan, the term “managed pollinators” includes any species of pollinators that are managed by humans for pollination purposes, the production of honey, beeswax or other products. The expectation is that mitigating the risk of pesticides to managed pollinators will also reduce risk to native bees and other pollinators as well. The Virginia State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan will be limited to managed pollinators not under contracted pollination services at the site of application and includes both agricultural and non-agricultural (i.e. turf and ornamental pest control) pesticide applications as well as commercial and noncommercial beekeepers.
Click HERE to read Commissioner Adam's Request for Stakeholder Input.