These elements of “industrial agriculture” not needed at refuges-

Pressure to ban neonictinoid pesticides and mobilization against GE crops has been growing.

The U.S. government is perceived by many to be slow to respond to concern about neonics, or on the wrong side with genetically engineered crops or animals. Now, however, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will phase these things out on the nation’s National Wildlife Refuge System.

Internal memoranda quote National Wildlife Refuge System head James Kurth, “We have demonstrated our ability to successfully accomplish refuge purposes over the past two years without using genetically modified crops, therefore it is no longer possible to say that their use is essential to meet wildlife management objectives. We will no longer use genetically modified crops to meet wildlife management objectives System-wide.”

The method of justifying the action is clever — rather than finding them dangerous, a threat to wildlife or human health, etc., they are simply “not needed.”  Some GE crops had been grown and fed to wildlife on the refuges. The Service said the phase out was based on the “precautionary approach.”

The phase out is supposed to be done by January 2016.  The Refuge System is huge, including 607,028 square kilometers (377,189 sq. miles). This is a third larger than Texas.

Here is the memorandum.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

4 Responses to Neonics and genetically engineered crops to be phased out at national wildlife refuges

  1. Ida Lupines says:

    Woohoo! The answer to my prayers.

  2. Ida Lupines says:

    This should help bees and Monarchs, and other wildlife, but especially these. Let the milkweed grow, I’ve seen lots of it around lately.

  3. Marion Ambler says:

    My first thought is they are also phasing wildlife out of wildlife refuges…ie Jamaica Bay Wildlife ‘Refuge’ in NYC.


August 2014


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey