Friends of Minnesota
Scientific & Natural Areas
We support H.F. 1210, and HF 1076, the Environment and Natural Resources Omnibus Bill, bills to prohibit the use of neonicotinoid insecticides and chlorpyriphos on
SNA's and all State Lands
Neonicotinoids (neonics) are the most widely used class of insecticides worldwide. They are used in agricultural applications (seed coating, leaf spray, soil injection). Unlike traditional pesticides, “neonics” are systemic — meaning they are distributed throughout the plant and make the entire plant toxic to insects. Bees and other pollinators are exposed to these toxic chemicals through pollen, nectar, dust, dew droplets on plant leaves, and in the soil where many native bee species nest. These neonics came into heavy use in the mid-2000s at the same time beekeepers were observing widespread cases of colony losses.
Recently the MN DNR published the results of a study to see how many of Minnesota’s deer were contaminated by neonics. The preliminary results showed that 61% of spleen samples tested positive for the presence of neonics indicating exposure at some level. Neonics were present in deer spleens provided from across the state, see Figure 1.
The highest levels observed in the preliminary results of deer spleens was around 6.1 ng/g. Further study will be required to determine if exposure levels found have any potential adverse impacts to deer health. DNR plans to continue to investigate this issue with more deer spleen collections this coming fall. A study conducted on captive deer in South Dakota showed that fawn survival decreased with neonic concentrations greater than 0.33 ng/g.
Representative Rick Hansen who Chairs the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee has been holding hearings on H.F. 1210, a bill to prohibit the use of neonicotinoid insecticides and chlorpyriphos onstate lands (WMAs, state parks, SNAs, state forests, and state aquatic management areas). The bill was laid over for inclusion in an omnibus bill. It is now included in HF 1076, the Environment and Natural Resources Omnibus Bill.
Friends of Minnesota SNAs has sent a letters to Rep. Hanson endorsing the inclusion of SNAs in both the bill (see pdf below).