Mazie Hirono Intros Bill to Protect and Preserve Native Plant Species
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) on Wednesday introduced legislation to promote botanical research and direct federal departments to provide preference to native plant species. The bill, named the Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act, encourages federal land management agencies to hire botanists, conduct research on native plant materials, and incorporate native plants in projects on federal land when feasible. If passed, it would specifically create a botanical research grant program within the Department of the Interior, direct the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to incorporate into existing activities native plant conservation, and create a grant program within the Department of the Interior to keep rare plants off of the Endangered Species list by increasing their populations and helping those currently on the list recover. “Native plants play a crucial role in conserving and protecting our land, and are an important part of our culture. They recharge our watersheds and are less prone to fire than nonnative species,” Hirono said. “This bill provides resources to ensure that our land managers have the necessary tools and expertise to protect our native plants, many of which are endangered and are found nowhere else in the world.” More here.