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GLIN==> SWCS Seminar update

A Matter of Balance: The Role of Pollinators in a Sustainable Environment

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Michigamme Room, Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, MSU

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.)

    Sponsored by the Michigan Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Society

We take them for granted.  They're always there when the flowers start to bloom, or at least they used to be.  They are pollinators.  These little creatures include bees, butterflies, moths and many other insects with wings (not to mention birds and bats) that move from blossom to blossom carrying pollen and making it possible for just about every thing on earth to blossom and grow .1

Pollination is vital to our survival and the existence of nearly all ecosystems on earth.  80% of the world’s crop plants depend on pollination.  Insect pollinators, including honey bees and native bees, pollinate products amounting to $20 billion annually in the U.S. alone.  They are essential to the fibers we use, the medicines that keep us healthy and more than half of the world’s diet of fats and oils.2

Native pollinators are threatened by habitat loss, pesticides, disease, parasites and the effects of invasive species.3  Since pollinators are largely overlooked, assessing their condition and economic importance; seeking to understand their circumstances, biology, and benefits better; and working to help keep them healthy are positive, pro-active approaches to conservation.2

1.        Plant Materials Program News, USDA-NRCS, 5/23/07

2.        Pollinator Partnership Webpage, The Pollinator Partnership, 2007

3.        NRCS This Week, USDA-NRCS, 11/30/05

This is a professional development program designed for all conservationists, whether public agency or private consultant, who work directly with landowners advising them on conservation practices for sustainable eco-systems.  It is also open to landowners who want to learn more about pollinator beneficial practices.  Learn about pollinator concerns, and about beneficial practices and management from State and National experts.

Pre-registration is required.  Contact DFKEsselring@aol.com (Home: 269-781-6268) or kelly.goward@mi.nacdnet.net for more information and registration materials.


Topics or categories to be covered during program:

  • The wide world of pollinators:  An overview.
    • Mace Vaughan, Xerces Society
  • Colony Collapse Disorder: What is it, and what is being done?
    • Michael Hansen, MDA
  • Human impacts on pollinators.
    • David Epstein, Fruit Tree IPM Integrator, MSU
  • Habitat management to help pollinators: practices that work.
    • Juliana Tuell, Department of Entomology, MSU
  • Technical and Financial Assistance Programs, including SAFE.
    • Lynn Sampson, State Biologist, USDA-NRCS, East Lansing, Michigan

Start the year off right. Easy ways to stay in shape in the new year.