Importance

Production of food and forage is largely dependent on the work of pollinating organisms, such as bees, birds, bats, and butterflies.  However, these organisms are in decline nationwide.  Continued losses of pollinating organisms threaten agricultural production, maintenance of natural plant communities, and the important services provided by those ecosystems, such as carbon cycling, flood and erosion control, and recreation.  President Barack Obama directed federal agencies (and state agencies by extension) to take action on behalf of pollinating organisms.

 

 

NDOR Activities to Support Pollinators

  • Roadside seed mixtures are planted during highway construction projects.  Mixtures that are planted away from highway shoulders are comprised of approximately 10-20% native wildflower seed, by weight.  Species planted are suited to the region of Nebraska in which the construction project occurs, and may serve as food and habitat for pollinators.
  • NDOR has funded a research project with the University of Nebraska to investigate wildflower islands (areas of dense wildflower seeding) and their effect on pollinating species populations.
  • NDOR programmatic documents have been revised to recommend mowing dates and frequencies that minimize interference with pollinator life cycles and foraging needs.
  • NDOR staff participate in efforts led by Nebraska pollinator interest groups, to develop action plans and policies to support pollinator life cycles and develop habitat.
  • NDOR is a cooperator with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on a pollinator habitat establishment project on Nebraska’s Cowboy Trail: http://outdoornebraska.gov/cowboytrail/

 

 

 

Flowery roadside. Courtesy of Carol Wienhold, NDOR.

Flowery roadside. Courtesy of Carol Wienhold, NDOR.

Boy Scout Jamboree participants planting milkweed seedlings on NDOR right-of-way. Courtesy of Mike Groenwald, NGPC.

Boy Scout Jamboree participants planting milkweed seedlings on NDOR right-of-way. Courtesy of Mike Groenwald, NGPC.

Moths on Gaillardia. Courtesy of Pat Sward, NDOR.

Moths on Gaillardia. Courtesy of Pat Sward, NDOR.