Few are aware of the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service program allowing insecticide spraying on millions of acres in 17 western states as part of a short-term, and short-sighted, means of curtailing native grasshopper and Mormon cricket numbers. This threatens insects, including pollinators, which contribute services valued at more than $70 billion per year to the U.S. economy, according to a recent study. Greater sage-grouse, monarch butterflies, western bumblebees, and other species inhabiting western lands are already in steep decline and extremely vulnerable to further harm from the APHIS pesticide spraying. Also troubling, APHIS’s program lacks transparency, failing to disclose where pesticides have been sprayed. Join Sharon Selvaggio with Xerces' pesticide team together with allies from the Center from Biological Diversity and Advocates for the West to learn more about this issue and what Xerces is doing about it. Webinar hosted as part of Advocate's Voices for the West series.
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Pesticide Program Specialist - Park, Nurseries, and Natural Areas Lead - The Xerces Society
Sharon assists Xerces staff, partners, and the public to reduce reliance on pesticides and understand pesticide risk to invertebrates. Sharon previously worked at Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service, and integrates her focus on pesticides with her experience managing natural areas and agricultural lands. Sharon earned a Master of Science in energy and resources and a Bachelor of Arts in biology, both from the University of California, Berkeley. Sharon spends a lot of time in her vegetable garden, which has an always-buzzing insectary/pollinator patch, and she is a frequent visitor to the Pacific northwest's wildlands for recreation.