[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 106 (Monday, June 5, 2017)]
[Pages 25755-25756]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11554]

                                                Federal Register

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Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 106 / Monday, June 5, 2017 / 

[[Page 25755]]


Office of the Secretary

National Monitoring Plan for Native Bees: Stakeholder and Public 
Listening Session

AGENCY: National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Office of the 
Secretary, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of listening session and request for stakeholder input.


SUMMARY: On behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) 
Pollinator Health Working Group, USDA National Institute of Food and 
Agriculture (NIFA) will host a Listening Session to discuss a strategy 
to monitor native bees in the United States.

DATES: The session will occur on Wednesday, June 28, 2017 from 8:00 
a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (EST). Regardless of attendance, anyone interested 
may submit written comments. Those comments are due to Andrew Clark at 
[email protected] by July 6, 2017.

ADDRESSES: The meeting will take place at the USDA South Building 
Caf[eacute] Conference Center A-C located at 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20250. All participants must report to the 
Independence Avenue and 12th Street entrance and must present a valid 
government-issued I.D. (e.g., state driver's license or identification 
card) for admission.
    RSVP and Registration: Individuals wishing to attend the event must 
RSVP no later than June 14, 2017 by emailing Andrew Clark at 
[email protected]. In-person participation is limited to the 
first 100 individuals who register. Everyone is welcome to participate 
in the listening session by webinar. A few days before the event, 
NIFA's Web site will include details about the webinar at https://nifa.usda.gov/resources?f%5B0%5D=field_resource_type%3A18.
    Onsite participants may provide a five-minute oral presentation 
addressing the following:
     Why is a national monitoring plan for native bees 
     What kind of information/data is needed; and
     How would the information be used?
    Registrants wishing to provide an oral presentation must provide a 
two to three sentence overview of the questions above. PowerPoint 
presentation are allowed but not required. If interested, please email 
your overview and PowerPoint to Andrew Clark at 
[email protected] by 2:00 p.m., EST on June 23. Individuals 
scheduled to provide an oral presentation will receive notification of 
an assigned time by June 28. A written transcript of each presentation 
is required by July 6.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Clark, Program Specialist, NIFA 
at (202) 401-6550 or by email at [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background and Purpose: Several species of 
animal pollinators in the United States have experienced significant 
population declines. The most economically important pollinators 
include managed bees (e.g., European honey bee, bumble bees, alfalfa 
leafcutter bee, etc.) as well as wild native bees. Numerous biotic and 
abiotic causes are responsible for these declines. Frequently reported 
factors include:
     Invasive pests, parasites, and diseases;
     Increased exposure to pesticides, pollutants or toxins;
     Nutritional deficits;
     Extreme weather events;
     Agricultural intensification and habitat loss;
     Reduced genetic diversity; and
     Changes in pollinator or crop management practices.
    The loss of both managed and wild bees would have severe impacts on 
crops that depend on pollinators, and would ultimately impact food 
security. This loss would also negatively impact natural ecosystem 
services dependent on pollinators.
    In June 2014, a Presidential memorandum directed the formation of a 
National Pollinator Task Force chaired by the U.S. Secretary of 
Agriculture, and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA). The Task Force released a Pollinator Research Action Plan 
in May 2015. The Plan included actions needed to assess native bee 
populations, including developing baseline data, assessing trends in 
pollinator populations, expanding bee identification capacities, and 
expanding collaboration between government and university scientists.
    During 2015, Senators Barbara Boxer, Kristen Gillibrand, and Diane 
Feinstein asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review 
USDA and EPA efforts to protect bee health.
    In their 2016 report, a key GAO findings was,

    ``USDA has increased monitoring of honey bee colonies managed by 
beekeepers to better estimate losses nationwide but does not have a 
mechanism in place to coordinate the monitoring of wild, native 

    The GAO Report recommended that USDA coordinate with members of the 
Pollinator Task Force to develop a monitoring plan that would:
     Establish roles and responsibilities of lead and support 
     Establish shared outcomes and goals; and
     Obtain input from relevant stakeholders, such as states.
    A first step towards developing a national monitoring plan, the 
listening session will gather input from a diverse range of people who 
are interested in native bee diversity, abundance, and large scale 
national monitoring strategies.
    Prospectus: The morning portion of the listening session will 
include brief introductions and opening remarks by USDA leaders and 
relevant federal agencies followed by five-minute oral presentations. 
Approximately 15 minutes of questions and discussion will follow every 
fifth presentation. After lunch, public presentations will continue, 
followed by closing remarks. The NIFA Web site (www.nifa.usda.gov) will 
include a link to a detailed schedule approximately a week before the 
listening session.

[[Page 25756]]

    Done at Washington, DC, May 30, 2017.
Sonny Ramaswamy,
Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
[FR Doc. 2017-11554 Filed 6-2-17; 8:45 am]