Decision removes protection from the four sensitive bumble bee species.
Sarina Jepsen, Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Co-Chair of the IUCN Bumble Bee Specialist Group
(971) 244-3727 | [email protected]
Tori Yundt, Center for Food Safety
(541) 419-2344 | [email protected]
Rebecca Bullis, Defenders of Wildlife
(202) 772-0295 | [email protected]
REDDING, Calif.; November 20, 2020---This week, in a blow to imperiled bee and insect populations, the Sacramento County Superior Court issued a ruling in Almond Alliance v. California Fish and Game Commission (the Commission), deeming the State of California lacks authority to list four threatened bumble bee species as Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).
In 2018, Center for Food Safety, Defenders of Wildlife, and Xerces Society petitioned the Commission to list four species of native bumble bees—western bumble bee, Franklin's bumble bee, Crotch's bumble bee, and the Suckley cuckoo bumble bee—as Endangered under CESA. As a result of the groups’ petition, the Commission voted to begin the listing process in 2019, but was sued by California’s agricultural industry shortly after its decision.
The industry argued that terrestrial invertebrates, such as the four bumble bee species, are not protected by CESA. Center for Food Safety, Defenders of Wildlife, and Xerces Society intervened in the lawsuit in January 2020 to help defend the Commission’s decision to extend critical protection to the four bumble bee species.
In response to the Court’s ruling, the petitioners issued the following joint statement:
“We are deeply disappointed by today’s decision. In ruling that CESA does not protect terrestrial invertebrates, the Court not only removed protection from the four sensitive bumble bee species, but took away future prospects for much needed protection from the State’s many imperiled insects that play critical roles in our agriculture and overall ecology. We hope the State will appeal. We are considering all options in response to the court's decision, including pursuit of legislation to make it clear that CESA protects these critical species."
Read the CESA petition
Read the California Fish and Game Commission’s decision to protect the bumble bees
Read the Sacramento County Superior Court’s ruling
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is a nonprofit organization that protects the natural world by conserving invertebrates and their habitat. Established in 1971, the Society is a trusted source for science-based information and advice and plays a leading role in protecting pollinators and many other invertebrates. Our team draws together experts from the fields of habitat restoration, entomology, plant ecology, education, pesticides, farming and conservation biology with a single passion: Protecting the life that sustains us. To learn more, visit xerces.org or follow us @xercessociety on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Center for Food Safety's mission is to empower people, support farmers, and protect the earth from the harmful impacts of industrial agriculture. Through groundbreaking legal, scientific, and grassroots action, we protect and promote your right to safe food and the environment. Please join our more than 950,000 advocates across the country at www.centerforfoodsafety.org. Twitter: @CFSTrueFood, @CFS_Press
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.