Local group says feds failing to protect endangered bumble bee species


by: PHOTO COURTESY SARINA JENSEN - The rusty patched bumble bee is endangered, according to the Xerces Society. The Portland-based Xerces Society and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a notice of intent Thursday to sue the U.S. secretary of the interior for failure to respond to a petition to list the rusty patched bumble bee under the Endangered Species Act.

The Xerces Society, which specializes in invertebrate species, filed a petition to protect the rusty patched bumble bee under the Endangered Species Act more than a year ago. The group charges that the interior secretary failed to meet a statutory requirement to respond to that earlier petition within 90 days, as well as a subsequent deadline to decide within a year whether or not the species should be protected.

The threatened bee is an important pollinator of cranberries, apples, plums, alfalfa and other crops and wildflowers, according to the Xerces Society. The bee has disappeared from an estimated 87 percent of its historic range in the upper Midwest and Eastern seaboard.

For more information: www.xerces.org/rusty-patched-bumble-bee.

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