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360-867-2097

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, December 18, 2014
Contact:
Sandra Romero, Thurston County Commissioner, 360-786-5440

Thurston Commissioners Ban Insecticide from County Properties
Loss of bee populations linked to use of neonicotinoid pesticides

OLYMPIA - Thurston County Commissioners have amended the county's Pest and Vegetation Management Policy (PVM) to prohibit the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on County owned or managed property. The action furthers the county goal to minimize the use of pesticides and favor the use of least toxic pesticides when they are necessary, and help set an example by avoiding the use of neonicotinoid insecticides.

Commissioner Sandra Romero says neonicotinoid insecticides have been linked to the loss of bee populations and the collapse of bee colonies.

"Since 2006 there has been a significant increase in the collapse of bee colonies and declining populations of bees in Washington State and the nation. Bees and other insect pollinator populations are critical for food crop production and agriculture, and the state and local agricultural economies are highly dependent on pollinators. The continued viability of the agricultural industry is important to food security and the agricultural heritage of the region and the health and well-being of county residents." Such insecticides can persist for year in soils where they can be absorbed by non-treated plants.

The amendment to the PVM Policies will also bring that document in line with current best practices used by county staff. It also fits in with goals of the "Thurston Thrives" program and the Thurston County Strategic Plan by minimizing the county's environmental footprint, protecting and restoring the water quality and helping sustain biodiversity and ecosystems.



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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3