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A plea for a pollinator proclamation

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Note: The following is a letter submitted to the Chairperson of the Bath County Board of Supervisors and our local newspaper, The Recorder.

May 22, 2019

Richard B. Byrd, Chair
Bath County Board of Supervisors
P.O. Box 381, 
Hot Springs, VA 24445 

An open letter to the Board of Supervisors and citizens of Bath County

Is it possible to find common ground on economic and environmental issues during these politically polarizing times? The answer is, “Yes!” Even those people firmly entrenched in their political party’s ideology recognize the importance of pollinators to their community’s (and the nation’s) economic and environmental well-being. 

Sadly, the pollinators are in trouble and in need of recognition and support. In addition to the often recognized bumble bee, the diverse cadre of animals performing pollination include birds, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles, and other insects. Homeowners may help pollinators by leaving a little “wildness” in their landscapes as habitat for not only pollinators but for other beneficial organisms, including predators to help control pests. Want more information to help pollinators? Visit www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week

Pollinators play an important role in agriculture (Virginia’s largest private industry) with an economic impact of $70 billion. One out of every three bites of food you eat results from pollinators. 

The beautiful vegetation of Bath County owes much to the work of pollinators. The role pollinators perform in agriculture, gardens and residential landscapes may be observed and understood with a modicum of effort. Pollinators also play critical roles in supporting forests, meadows, and wetlands. In short, the influence of pollinators reaches into all corners of our county and impacts hunting, fishing, and tourism.  

Politically, the adoption of a pollinator proclamation presents a win-win situation. Many other states and federal agencies have made pollinator proclamations an annual event to increase the public’s awareness of this important issue. I encourage the Board of Supervisors to seize this initiative and to formally recognize the contribution of pollinators with a Proclamation that June 17-23 (2019) be recognized as Bath County Pollinator Week. Enclosed you’ll find a copy of Virginia’s proclamation. 

Respectfully, 

Joseph Murray,
7 Acre Wood Farm
Burnsville, VA