Happy New Year!
The Advocacy Committee of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey is excited to report on our progress in 2023 to protect the native plants of New Jersey and to look ahead to new legislation. Your participation, by contacting the governor and legislators, will make a difference.
Bill to Ban Invasives – Finally on the Governor’s Desk
For the last two years, we have been working to pass New Jersey Bill A3677/S2186. This bill aims to prohibit the sale, distribution, or propagation of certain invasive plant species and establishes the NJ Invasive Species Council. It’s a crucial step toward controlling invasive species and protecting our native plant ecosystems. In the spring of 2022, we pushed to move this bill forward when few had faith in it. In December 2022, our committee co-chair Laura Bush testified about it before the NJ Senate Environment and Energy Committee and again before the Assembly Agriculture and Food Security Committee in May 2023. The bill finally passed both houses with unanimous support last week and now we are delighted to announce that it is on Governor Murphy’s desk. Even though this bill had bipartisan support in both houses, this does not mean the governor is certain to sign it. Please reach out to the governor via the governor’s website (https://nj.gov/governor/contact/all/), leave a voice mail at 1-609-292-6000 or send a text message to 1-732-605-5455 and encourage him to sign it. Letters are usually better, but there is no time!
New Jersey’s State Native Pollinator
A2994/S4229, which designates the Common Eastern Bumble Bee as New Jersey’s State Native Pollinator, is another bill we are closely following. This designation underscores the importance of pollinators in maintaining the health of our ecosystems and the crucial role native plants play in supporting these species by declaring the Eastern Bumble Bee as our state pollinator. Such laws play more than a symbolic role as they encourage people to learn more about our native plants and insects and their interplay. A note to encourage your state representatives to get this bill to the floor of both houses may help make it a reality. Find your state representative and senator here.
Mikie Sherrill Bill to Promote Federal Use of Native Plants
At the federal level, HR 6832, introduced by Representative Mikie Sherrill of NJ-11, aims to prioritize and consider the use of native plants in federal projects. This bill represents a significant effort to integrate native plants into larger conservation and landscaping initiatives at a national level. Do write your House Representative and Senators Booker and Menendez to encourage them to co-sponsor this bill. Find your U. S. senators or Members of Congress here.
We continue to track other bills as they are introduced and gain support at both state and national levels.
Finally, as we look forward to the new year, we remind you to renew your NPSNJ membership if you have not already. Your continued participation is essential for the advancement of our initiatives and the fulfillment of our mission. Together, we can continue to make a significant impact on the conservation and appreciation of New Jersey’s native plants.
Thank you once again for your dedication and support. We are excited to embark on another year of meaningful work in the preservation and celebration of New Jersey’s native plant heritage.
The Advocacy Committee of the
Native Plant Society of New Jersey