Native Plants Act gets unanimous Senate approval
The N.C. House of Representatives is considering a bill titled the North Carolina Native Plant Act after it unanimously passed the Senate May 3.
The bill, S318, would require use of plants and seeds native to the Southeastern U.S. in state parks and along state highways, with a strong preference for plants native to North Carolina. It includes exemptions for nonnative turf grass and nonnative seeds and plants used in landscaping for locations where the primary purpose is crop cultivation, crop and horticulture research, science, botanical gardens, plantings for wildlife by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and zoos.
The bill defines “Southeastern United States” to include Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and 10 counties in Florida.
“The Native Plants Act is crucial legislation for the restoration of habitat and food sources for North Carolina wildlife, as well as celebrating our natural identity, culture and history,” reads a statement from the N.C. Wildlife Foundation. “It is a huge step towards addressing the issue of invasive plants and reinstating a balanced equilibrium of biodiversity in our state.”
The bill passed a first reading in the House on the day it was received and was referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House. Follow the bill’s progress at ncleg.gov/billlookup/2023/S318.