Last spring, the Minnesota House Minority Caucus tried using a pollinator habitat bill authored by Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin) as a sign of "DFL Waste." The attack quickly faded as news reports of pollinator population crashes made headlines in Greater Minnesota newspapers.
Bees, butterflies and other pollinatora play an important role in agriculture, since most plants depend upon them for pollination to bear fruits and seeds.
And then there was the concern of ordinary Minnesotans who noticed that bees, butterflies and other pollinators just weren't making the rounds in their gardens and local parks. A House hearing in December confirmed what people were seeing in their own backyards.
Tonight in West Saint Paul, Representative Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) will moderate a Pollinator Policy Forum at the Dakota Lodge – Thompson Park Center, 1200 Stassen Lane, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Hansen has assembled an impressive panel of experts and authorities from the pollinator world, as well as Minnesota beekeepers.
A former employee of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Hansen still owns family farm and hunting/conservation land in Southeastern Minnesota where he grew up.
Via a press release, here's the schedule. This is a great opportunity for hear more about the situation of our pollinators and is worth a drive.
State Representative Rick Hansen (DFL – South St. Paul) will be hosting a Pollinator Public Policy Forum today, February 10, 2014 at the Dakota Lodge of the Thompson Park Center in West St. Paul.
Presentations from state agencies will begin at 7:00 PM followed by a panel discussion and question and answer session. Doors open at 6:30 PM — with displays available — and there is no cost to attend. The full agenda is below.
MEETING: Monday, February 10, 2014 Time: 6:30 – 9:30 P.M. Place: Dakota Lodge – Thompson Park Center 1200 Stassen Lane, West Saint Paul, MN 55118
I. Introductions: Rep Rick Hansen
II. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Pollinators on Public Lands
Bob Welsh – Wildlife Habitat Program Manager
III. Minnesota Department of Agriculture:
Pollinator Report Kevin Cavanaugh – Pesticide Management Advisor
Joe Zachmann – Manager, Pesticide and Fertilizer Management Division
IV. Board of Water and Soil Resources: Pollinators on Private Lands Dan Shaw – Hydrologist
10 MINUTE BREAK
V. Minnesota Zoo: Butterfly Research
Dr. Erik Runquist – Butterfly Conservation Biologist
VI. University of Minnesota: Pollinator Research
Becky Masterman – Bee Squad Coordinator
10 MINUTE BREAK
VII. Response Panel: Minnesota Beekeepers Kristy Allen, Manly Bigalk, Erin Rupp, Katherine Sill
Photo: Rep. Hansen visiting his farm in Bristol Township, Fillmore County, Minnesota. via Facebook. He probably will wear more formal working attire at the forum tonight, which is offical business.
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