The Daily Gazette: Pollinator protection funding good for state
July 19, 2017
Though some might say it’s been slow coming, summer is upon us.
For those of us in the landscaping and green management field, this is the time of year we live for. Being outdoors, in nature is one of the many benefits of working in the landscaping industry.
That’s why the New York Alliance for Environmental Concerns (NYAFEC) have always been a strong supporter of good ideas that help to make our outdoor environment better, safer, and stronger.
We are fortunate to live and work in a state where our government has shown a commitment to our environment, agricultural, and horticultural conservation needs.
In 2016, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature set aside $500,000 to establish and implement the New York State Pollinator Protection Plan.
The plan has provided solid guidance through a series of “best management plans” (BMPs) and the monies have been used to conduct research and implement policies related to restoring a sufficient and healthy pollinator population in our state.
It’s been a wise, forward looking investment.
Pollinators — bees, bats, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other species — are critical to the environment and the agricultural sector that contributes $500 million to New York’s economy annually. But, pollinator populations are still in decline in recent years.
It’s critical to a safe and workable environment that we reverse this trend.
Some of our state’s most popular and recognizable agricultural products are directly tied to pollinators, such as apples, pumpkins, and grapes.
Lead by researchers at Cornell University, teams have been conducting research and implementing plans laid out in the New York State Pollinator Protection Plan.
But, their work is not done, and thankfully, our lawmakers continue to recognize that.
In the recently passed state budget, another $500,000 was set aside to keep this critical research and information sharing moving forward.
NYAFEC would like to thank both the governor and the legislature for their commitment to protecting our natural resources and economy.
This is a prudent financial move, one that will set up the agricultural and horticultural industries for continued success in the years to come.
This continued support from the Cuomo Administration and the state Legislature, to bring together key stakeholders — and to offer funding for this critical research and idea sharing, will be key in sustaining our beautiful state for future generations.
Larry Wilson is chair of the New York Alliance for Environmental Concerns.