In June of 2014, the White House issued the Presidential Memorandum (PM), “Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.” The PM directs Federal agencies to take additional steps to improve habitat for pollinators including honey bees, native bees, birds, bats, and butterflies—critical contributors to our nation's economy, food system, and environmental health. With millions of acres of highway roadsides, State and local transportation agencies own or control land that can create important habitat corridors that link otherwise fragmented pollinator habitat.
The PM directed the U.S. Department of Transportation to evaluate its current guidance and resources, to identify opportunities to increase pollinator habitat along roadways, and to work with State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and transportation associations to promote pollinator-friendly practices and corridors. FHWA's approach to implementing this PM is to continue to support native plantings and integrated vegetation management (IVM) practices to reduce pesticide use and mowing, and increase native plantings. Based on FHWA's guidance, many States already follow an IVM approach that combines multiple forms of control (mechanical, chemical, and biological). An IVM plan can result in reduced long-term cost and increased safety while promoting native plantings that encourage ecological diversity.
FHWA works to provide best management practices (BMPs), support research, and distribute information about pollinator-friendly practices in roadside vegetation management. Below are resources for State DOTs and other transportation agencies and roadside managers.