Almond Alliance of California Joins With Diverse Group of Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resource Organizations to Protect California’s Pollinators

Alliance Sponsoring AB 391 to Provide Critical Funding for Pollinator Habitat

The Almond Alliance of California (AAC) is joining with a broad array of organizations from across California’s agricultural and environmental landscape to form the California Pollinator Coalition to address a shared commitment to the health of pollinators. The Coalition is focusing on increasing the value working lands provide to our environment while benefitting biodiversity and farmers alike.

“It’s a simple fact that without honey bees, there would be no almonds. The Almond Alliance strongly supports this collaborative effort to increase habitat for pollinators on working lands,” said Alliance Chairman Mike Curry.

The Alliance is sponsoring AB 391 California Pollinator Conservation Funding, authored by Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton). This bill will provide critically needed funding for activities that accelerate the adoption of conservation practices designed to integrate pollinator habitat and forage on working lands. “California almond farmers know that every almond exists because a honey bee visited an almond blossom,” explained Curry. “Honey bees and other pollinators need a varied and nutritious diet. This bill will help growers implement those important conservation practices that benefit honey bees as they forage for pollen and nectar in the orchard. The Almond Alliance is proud to sponsor this bill and looks forward to working with its partners for the bill’s successful passage in the California legislature.”

Assemblymember Villapuda noted the importance of protecting pollinators. “Pollinators are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food,” he explained. “They also sustain our ecosystems and produce our natural resources by helping plants reproduce. Working lands offer an opportunity to expand habitat and forage for pollinators which will help sequester carbon and contribute to climate risk reduction. To further engage growers in delivering solutions that benefit pollinators, state investment is critical for activities that accelerate the adoption of conservation practices that integrate pollinator habitat and forage on working lands.”

AB 391 will appropriate $5 million dollars to provide funding to a variety of agencies to deliver technical assistance, outreach and grants to incentivize participation in state and federal conservation programs where pollinator habitat and forage is established.

The California Pollinator Coalition, convened by Pollinator Partnership, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Almond Board of California, includes more than twenty organizations – representing the large majority of California’s crop and rangeland – pledging to increase habitat for pollinators on working lands. Together, the goal is to increase collaboration between agriculture and conservation groups for the benefit of biodiversity and food production. The result will be on-the-ground improvements, technical guidance, funded research, documentation of relevant case studies, and track progress toward increasing healthier pollinator habitats.

Current California Pollinator Coalition membership includes:

Agricultural Council of California
Almond Alliance of California
Almond Board of California
California Alfalfa and Forage Association
California Association of Pest Control Advisers
California Association of Resource Conservation Districts
California Cattlemen’s Association
California Citrus Mutual
California Department of Food and Agriculture
California Farm Bureau Federation
California State Beekeepers Association
California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
Environmental Defense Fund
Monarch Joint Venture
Monarch Watch
Pollinator Partnership
Project Apis m.
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service of California
Western Growers
Dr. Neal Williams, University of California, Davis