Monday, February 22, 2010

Non-binding Ky. measure would encourage coal companies to help bees with blooming trees

Some Kentucky lawmakers have sent a message to coal companies regarding strip mining: Account for its effects on bees, unless you don't want to. "Coal companies usually plant grasses on mined land -- not the native sourwoods, tulip poplars, goldenrods, asters and other blooming trees and plants that bees need," Roger Alford of The Associated Press reports. Thursday at a meeting of the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment, Tammy Horn, a bee researcher at Eastern Kentucky University, urged lawmakers to pass legislation encouraging coal companies to plant a variety of nectar- and pollen-producers on mined land.

The committee's response was a non-binding measure "asking coal companies to plant pollen-producing vegetation when they finish digging," Alford writes. Democratic Rep. Fitz Steele, sponsor of the measure, assured fellow lawmakers that it would not require coal companies to comply: "It's totally at their option if they want to do it," he said. Still, Horn saw the measure as a step toward helping to stabilize decreasing bee populations because it "puts state regulatory agencies on notice that reclamation plans aimed at helping bees should be approved," Alford writes. (Read more)

No comments: