Bee Bill Bombs & Wildfire Response
I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
A bill authorizing a pilot project to test replacing eradicated noxious weeds with bee nourishing forage failed to pass the Legislature. In April we spoke with Alison Halpern, Executive Secretary for the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board, about their giving away free packets of non-invasive "pollinator-friendly" seeds to help promote bee forage conservation. At the time Halpern said that the pilot project would complement the board's ongoing distribution of seeds of non-invasive flowers to benefit bees and butterflies. Beekeepers still plan on meeting with ag groups to discuss how noxious weeds can be eliminated and bee forage increased.?
U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell recently announced during a Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on wildfire management that she will introduce legislation to improve emergency response and federal coordination for wildfires, referring to last year's Carlton Complex fire.
CANTWELL: This fire burned an average of 5 acres per second for 24 hours straight. Despite many efforts for people to coordinate, the people in those towns lacked the power of communication for weeks. Because of downed telephone lines, homeowners were not able to call to warn about the continued encroaching fires; and instead, police had to drive around from town-to-town, calling for evacuation from their vehicles using a megaphone.
Cantwell said she is calling for better coordination between the Forest Service and FEMA on communication responses during these natural disasters, and a quicker more proactive, upfront coordination with federal agencies who are responding and providing assistance to impacted communities, along with more hazardous fuel reduction in the wildland-urban interface.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.