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Governor Kitzhaber announces appointees to Task Force on Pollinator Health

​Meetings to begin in June
 
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today announced appointees to the Task Force on Pollinator Health. The Task Force, established by House Bill 4139 in the 2014 Oregon Legislature, will study various issues related to the health of honeybees and other pollinating insects and provide a report to the Legislature on its findings.
 
"So much of Oregon’s natural landscapes and agricultural lands rely on bees and other pollinators," said Governor Kitzhaber. "These large-scale die-offs are troubling, and we need to ensure we’re encouraging best practices across the state to protect pollinators and the people and plants that depend on them."
 
The legislation was prompted by several bumblebee die-offs in 2013 related to inappropriate pesticide use. The Task Force will study issues relevant to pollinator health, including pesticide regulations, public education and outreach, and best practices for pesticide management.
 
Representative Jeff Reardon, who sponsored House Bill 4139, said, "It is imperative that Oregon makes a strong commitment to protecting pollinators without making it impossible for farmers to do their jobs. I'm looking forward to working with this diverse group of stakeholders. I am confident they will work together to find solutions that all Oregonians will applaud."
 
The Task Force expects to begin meeting in June and will submit a report to the Legislature by October 1. Voting members represent one of eight interest groups specified in the bill. The legislation also requires one legislator each from the Oregon Senate and House of Representatives to participate as nonvoting members.
 
Meetings are open to the public. For more information about meeting times and locations, contact Beth Patrino, Legislative Committee Administrator, at 503-986-1751 or beth.patrino@state.or.us
 
Task Force Members:
 
• Senator Chuck Thomsen
• Representative Jeff Reardon
• Ramesh Sagili, Oregon State University
• Jeff Stone, Oregon Association of Nurseries
• Scott Dahlman, Oregonians for Food & Shelter
• Aimee Code, Xerces Society
• Christy Splitt, Oregon Environmental Council
• Betsy Earls, Associated Oregon Industries
• George Hansen, Foothills Honey Company
 
The final spot on the Task Force, reserved for a master gardener, is pending confirmation.
 
Media Contact:
Rachel Wray, 503-559-1277
Melissa Navas, 503-378-6496

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