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Prelisting Pollinator Conservation Program

This is a voluntary non-regulatory, pro-active program developed by PennDOT in collaboration with a diverse interagency and stakeholder team of experts, known as the PennDOT Pollinator Work Group, with the intent of enhancing and protecting pollinator habitats so that they may not need to be protected under the Endangered Species Act in the near future.

The program focuses on specific pollinator species including the monarch butterfly, the regal fritillary, the frosted elfin and the yellow-banded bumblebee.

The program was developed in accordance with USFWS Policy Regarding Voluntary Prelisting Conservation Actions, Fish and Wildlife Service Manual at Part 735 (5/31/2018) (PDF).  PennDOT administers the program and self-certifies available credits with review and oversight by the PennDOT Pollinator Work Group.

The program has been developed as a living program document with associated updates and resources accessible to the public through this page.

How It Works

PennDOT receives credits for various types of conservation actions that benefit pollinator species.  These credits can be used to offset future actions from roadway projects that may negatively affect the pollinator species.

Three Types of Conservation Actions:

  • Conservation mowing - mowing some areas of rights-of-way, depending on safety considerations, less frequently to promote growth of native nectar producing plants and applying seasonal restrictions to assure availability of host plant species (milkweed) along the roadside for pollinator reproduction.

  • Daylighting - removing tree canopy overgrowth along the roadside.  This allows light to reach native plants growing along the roadside.  

  • Planting Pollinator Habitat - planted areas designed to include pollinator plant species that create habitat for pollinators.  Volunteer groups can enhance PennDOT planting efforts and can support pollinator conservation by adopting, planting and maintaining a Keystone Pollinator Habitat site. For an application and planting resource information, visit the Adopt and Beautify page.