Federal Botany Bill Reintroduced
A bill was reintroduced to the US House of Representatives in March that could have positive impacts on native plantings and natural area management. The Botany Bill (H.R. 1572) was first introduced in 2017, and was reintroduced on March 6, 2019. There are currently 29 bipartisan co-sponsors of the bill, which focuses on training, research, and the propagation and use of native plants. If it becomes law, the bill will employ and train botanists who work on federal lands, fund research on recovery of threatened, endangered, and invasive species, and make recommendations for the use of native plants in land management activities. Read more about the bill here.
Restoring native plants to our landscape is essential as habitat for native pollinators and other insects that provide food for native birds and mammals. They have deep roots that prevent erosion and help direct stormwater into the soil. Native plants also provide other ecosystem services such as sequestering carbon, rebuilding soil, cleaning the air, and filtering surface water. Studies have shown that when humans spend time around native plants and trees, they receive a number of physical and mental health benefits. Areas restored to native plants do not require supplemental watering or fertilizing, cost 40-50% less than turf, and can increase property values.