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Idaho Wildlife Refuge to Stop Using Certain Pesticides

St. Cloud, iStock

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal wildlife refuges in the Northwest and Hawaii are phasing out pesticides similar to nicotine because they pose a threat to bees and other pollinators.

Kim Trust, deputy regional director of refuges for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Monday the agency pest management policy calls for methods posing the least risk to wildlife, and there is scientific evidence that neonicotinoids kill bees and other pollinators. The region covering Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Hawaii is the first in the agency to ban neonicotinoids.

They will be phased out by January 2016. Neonicotinoids are commonly applied as a coating on seeds such as corn planted on refuges both as a commercial crop and to benefit wildlife. Neonicotinoids sprayed on trees recently at a Eugene apartment complex killed a thousand bees.

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