During the 2023 legislative session, PPAN championed an amendment to the Pesticide Applicators Act (PAA) Sunset bill, that sought to repeal pesticide preemption. If it had passed, the amended bill would have partially restored control of pesticide use to Colorado communities.
But once again, our elected leaders were unwilling to push hard enough for reform in spite of overwhelming community support for this amendment. Nevertheless, we've come closer than we've ever been in this fight with the pesticide industry to overhaul a system that is broken and that threatens the health and well-being of Colorado communities and ecosystems.
On a brighter side, two relevant bills that PPAN worked on with our partners did see success this legislative session. The first, SB23-266, requires neonicotinoid pesticides to be designated as limited-use pesticides and authorizes only licensed dealers to sell them. (NOTE: Neonic pesticides refer to any pesticide containing a chemical belonging to the Neonicotinoid class of chemicals.)
The intent is to get these products OFF the shelves of general use hardware, garden, and big box stores, so this is a big win! Just this month, the EPA issued a report indicating that three of the most heavily used neonics are endangering 200 species at risk of extinction! Read more and view the full report here.
The other bill, SB23-178, concerns barriers to water-wise landscaping in HOAs. The passing of this new bill empowers and allows HOA residents to remove turf and replace it with drought-tolerant options, including natives! Read more here.
Thanks to all of you who submitted testimony, contacted elected officials, and shared information about the PAA Sunset bill with your networks. We are making progress, as a state, toward more pollinator-friendly policies, thanks to our collective efforts. Though there is still MUCH to do in order to reverse pollinator and insect decline and safeguard the health of our communities and our ecosystems!
PPAN remains steadfast in our resolve to forge on and we hope you'll continue to be right there, at our side, as we continue to fight for reform!
June is Colorado Pollinator Month and there are going to be a ton of amazing events and volunteer opportunities coming up! Please see our Pollinator Month page for more details!
One event we want to highlight in particular is our BIG DAY OF POLLINATOR COMMUNITY SCIENCE on June 17th from 10am-1pm at the Denver Botanic Gardens! This CO Pollinator Network (CPN) event provides a fabulous opportunity to join pollinator experts and enthusiasts to make observations of native pollinators at the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens! Come play an important role in helping us all better understand how to protect pollinators! Keep an eye on our Pollinator Month page, eNews, and social media channels (Instagram, Facebook) for more details to come!