Pollinators

Golf course superintendents need to conduct pest control activities and those should be done in accordance with comprehensive IPM strategies while also complying with labeling laws set forth by the EPA. GCSAA will continue to monitor and engage in regulatory activities that directly impact active ingredients used on golf courses. GCSAA will monitor indirect activities but will engage only if impacts to golf courses are imminent.

Golf facilities contribute valuable green space within any watershed and community. Within the golf course, natural and/or native areas provide opportunities to provide habitat for wild pollinators and honey bees. Golf course superintendents should continue to develop, protect and manage areas for wildlife and pollinator habitat. One key guide is the resource provided by the USGA and Xerces Society, "Making Room for Native Pollinators". Honey bees will benefit from these efforts as well.

GCSAA recognizes the importance of native pollinators in our ecosystem and their significant contribution to our quality of life. GCSAA is aware of and concerned about the issue of pollinator decline. Researchers are working to determine exact causes of decline and the association supports expedited review of the many potential factors that contribute to pollinator issues. GCSAA will continue to support use of best management practices that provide habitat through native areas as well as the professional use of inputs through training, education and IPM.

In 2015, the White House Pollinator Health Task Force published its report, "National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators". EPA’s portion of the strategy reviewed its current and planned actions on pollinators, including its plan for pollinator risk assessments, new testing guidelines and mitigation through state pollinator plans. EPA issued a proposed rule to adopt mandatory pesticide label restrictions to protect managed bees under contract service. EPA also issued a proposed rule regarding Risk Management Approach to Identifying Options for Protecting the Monarch Butterfly. There has been a steady increase in the number of “pollinator free” cities across the country and big box retail stores have been phasing out the use of neonicotinoids.

In 2014, GCSAA staff participated in the USDA's Forage and Nutrition Summit in Alexandria, Va. The focus of the summit was on pollinator health, with key areas of discussion being nutrition research, forage research, federal programmatic efforts in establishing forage plantings, providing access to honey bees on federally managed lands and providing access to honey bees on rights-of-way and land trusts.

In 2014, GCSAA and its members responded to proposed neonicatanoid bans in Vermont; Spokane, Wash.; Seattle, Wash.; and Tucson, Ariz.

In 2015, GCSAA and its members responded to proposed neonicatanoid bans in Maine and New York.

In 2016, GCSAA and RISE worked together to address pollinator focused bills in OH, MN, ME, MD, NC, VA, IL, CT, DC, VT, NJ, CA, MA and RI.

GCSAA staff participated in the 2016 National Entomology Conference and Pollinator Summit. University entomology scientists worked with staff to develop pollinator BMPs and pollinator talking points for advocacy efforts.

In 2016, staff participated in the Managed Pollinator Protection Plan National Symposium in Washington, D.C.