Lolo National Forest helps Missoula County bee better

Joshua Murdock

Lolo National Forest has pitched in to support a Missoula County effort to identify, conserve and educate the public about pollinators, pollinator plants and their ecological importance. 

The support, announced last month, came in the form of $25,000 toward a participating agreement with the county weed district.

The county’s plan will ultimately develop seed mixtures made available to promote growth of native flowering plants that provide important forage and habitat for a variety of pollinating insects, including more than 230 different species of bees that live in the Missoula Valley. The initiative will also develop a pollinator corridor map for the area and help educate homeowners and businesses on how to promote pollinator-friendly landscaping into their properties. 

The Forest Service and county will work together “surveying and monitoring work of pollinator plant species on county and National Forest lands,” according to Lolo National Forest Public Affairs Officer Kate Jerman. “Information gained from this work will be used to better understand the location and composition of plant species and ultimately, help enhance pollinator habitat and bee surveys, as well as increase public participation and knowledge of the importance of pollinators.”

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