Recommendation: Economic incentives should be expanded for pollinator conservation.
State-level Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices should provide lists of scientifically tested and approved pollinator-friendly practices to farmers participating in USDA cost share programs (the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program), land retirement programs (the Conservation Reserve Program [CRP] and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program), and production stewardship programs (the Conservation Security Program).
CRP should explicitly incorporate pollinator habitat in the environmental-benefits index used to evaluate land parcel proposals and incorporate the value of pollinator habitat development into its determination of the stewardship tiers for federal payments.
USDA cost-sharing, land retirement, and production stewardship programs should be available to producers of all commodities—fruits, nuts, and vegetables—that depend on pollinators.
The NRCS should target new hiring of personnel whose expertise is in biological sciences, especially ecology and natural-area management.
Landowners other than farmers and ranchers—such as homeowners and businesses—also could contribute to the conservation of pollinators by planting wildflowers to provide floral resources for resident and migratory adult pollinators and by providing nesting sites for females. People who do not own or manage land also can help by participating in monitoring programs. Critical to the success of citizen-scientist programs, however, is effective public outreach to raise awareness of pollinators’ ecological and economic contributions and to encourage public participation in conservation.
Recommendation: As part of their outreach, federal granting agencies should make an effort to enhance pollinator awareness in the broader community through citizen-scientist monitoring programs, teacher education, and K–12 and general public education efforts that center on pollination.
Recommendation: Professional societies (Ecological Society of America, Entomological Society of America, American Association of Professional Apiculturists, Botanical Society of America) and nongovernmental organizations (North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation) should collaborate with landowners and the public to increase awareness of the importance of pollinators and to publicize simple activities the public can do to promote and sustain pollinator abundance and diversity.