Utah Lawmaker Introduces Legislation to Boost Pollinator Populations

Utah Lawmaker Introduces Legislation to Boost Pollinator Populations

February 17, 20212 min read

Utah House of Representatives member Ashlee Matthews is working with experts to implement a pilot program to increase the pollinator population in the Beehive State. One of these experts is Southern Utah University biology professor Dr. Jacqualine Grant.

Dr. Grant is an award-winning educator and director of the Garth and Jerri Frehner Museum of Natural History within SUU’s Walter Maxwell Gibson College of Science. As a conservation biologist, her work has focused on organismal biology as it relates to insects, mammals, and amphibians.

“These types of programs can serve many types of species and I support this particular piece of legislation. It has clear and tangible benefits for the state of Utah, and it’s already heavily supported by many activities that are happening throughout the state.”

The program proposed by the bill would help to increase the pollinator population by providing native seeds and plants to gardeners. Dr. Grant believes that increasing pollinator-friendly landscaping in Utah could also have other supplemental benefits, including wildfire prevention and drought reduction.

“Another problem we have in Utah is lack of water, but native plants that attract pollinators use hardly a fraction of the water that typical landscaping plants will use in someone’s yard. So what this project will do is reduce water usage among home wonder while still allowing them to have really nice looking yards.”

“The program will also contribute to education, not just in terms of pollinator education, but education at the K-12 level by fulfilling some curricular requirements such as what are native plants and animals.”

In addition to her work at SUU, Dr. Grant serves as vice president for education and outreach for the Society for Conservation Biology. Her academic degrees include a ​Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior and an M.S. in animal science and a B.S. degree in biochemistry.

Dr. Grant is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit her profile.

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