ALCC news center
H-2B cap hit again Email
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 10:58 AM

From Laurie Flanagan and Brian Crawford, H-2B Workforce Coalition Co-Chairs:

On June 5, USCIS re-opened H-2B processing after determining that the 66,000 annual H-2B cap had not been met. USCIS then stopped processing most H-2B visa petitions on June 11 after determining that the cap was reached. This latest development makes Congressional action even more essential. You can read the USCIS announcement at:

2015 Legislative Day on the Hill Email
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 02:00 AM

Legislative Day on the Hill, Washington DCJoin ALCC in DC and talk with your representatives

ALCC is looking for members to join us in Washington, D.C. in July to visit the offices of representatives and senators to discuss the issues that are vital to the future of the landscape industry and to make sure our voice is heard on Capitol Hill.

The congressional landscape is ever changing, and our collective voice can be part of that change. ALCC, as a sister organization to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, works year-round with members of Congress and regulatory agencies to affect positive change for our industry. Legislative Day on the Hill, the annual Washington fly-in, is an opportunity for landscape industry professionals to increase their knowledge about legislative issues that affect their businesses and to participate directly in the political process.

The Legislative Day on the Hill event is free and includes legislative briefings, an address by a key-note speaker, visits to Congressional offices, as well as dinners, receptions, and networking opportunities. No need to research legislators or make appointments for visits; ALCC handles the planning and will register you for events where necessary. You need only review the agenda and join us. To attend with the ALCC/Colorado delegation, contact Kristen Fefes at 303 757-5611 x302. There is no fee to attend any of the events; your only cost is travel/lodging.

Unable to attend in person? You can still be involved via social media. Use the hashtag #landscapeadvocacy to tweet and post messages in support of your industry. Follow @COGreenNOW on Twitter and like for ideas that you can retweet and share.

Previously on the LAB:
Tweet your legislators
Legislative alert regarding Clean Water Act Rule

Judges' opinion on Coats v. DISH means employers may keep zero-tolerance policies Email
Monday, June 15, 2015 09:58 AM

Judges issued their opinion today after hearing testimony last September 

Marijuana is legal in Colorado but not federallyOn Monday, June 15, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinions on Coats v. DISH, in which a Colorado man was terminated from his job after testing positive for marijuana use. While the employee was using legally obtained medical marijuana, he was fired under DISH's zero-tolerance drug policy.

A court case held that the termination was legal, as marijuana remains illegal federally. The decision was upheld by an appellate court.

The Supreme Court was asked to decide if the use of medical marijuana is 'lawful' under Colorado's 'lawful activities statute.' Because medical marijuana use is not illegal in Colorado, and Coats was using it with permission from a physician, his lawyers argued that it was therefore 'lawful' use. If the court decided that his use was indeed lawful, then his employer may not fire him for engaging in a lawful activity.

The case was complicated because it was uncertain whether an activity (marijuana use) could be considered lawful activity in a state while it was prohibited according to federal law.

The judges stated:

The supreme court holds that under the plain language of section 24-34-402.5, 14 C.R.S. (2014), Colorado’s “lawful activities statute,” the term “lawful” refers only to 15 those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees 16 who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law 17 but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute. We therefore affirm 18 the court of appeals’ opinion.

To read the entire opinion, visit

White House Pollinator Task Force unveils national strategic plan Email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015 02:00 PM


White House Pollinator Health Task ForceOn May 19, 2015, the White House Pollinator Health Task Force released its "National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honeybees & other Pollinators." This strategy was issued along with a science based Pollinator Research Action Plan. Together they identify what needs to be done to understand pollinator losses, underlying causes, and how to support pollinator health. It also details actions that can be taken to achieve these goals.

Help your clients help out pollinators Email
Written by ALCC   
Tuesday, June 09, 2015 01:11 PM


Pollinator WeekPollinator Week is June 15-21, 2015, and the landscape industry is part of this public initiative. Landscape companies can help consumers make the best decisions for their yards in order to support pollinator health. From building “drinking stations” for bees to using native plants in the yard, there are many things that homeowners can do to make their landscape a welcoming and healthy habitat for bees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. Sharing this information helps pollinators, makes consumers feel better about their landscape, and gives business owners a marketing opportunity.

We've assembled some facts and resources that companies can share with their customers.

PlantSelect offers resources for pollinator-friendly gardens and beyond Email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015 12:48 PM

PlantSelectPlantSelect® has much to offer for both the Colorado landscape industry and consumers. This spring, they launched a new logo, a new guide to plants that require fewer resources, and an upgraded web site.

Does your team have a heat safety plan? Email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015 12:05 PM

Heat safety plans are vital to worker healthThe State of California has issued new regulations with regards to heat illness prevention, and it is possible that that these regulations may be eventually adopted nationally. With that in mind--and in the interest of the safety of your team--you should familiarize your supervisors and crews with information about safety in the hot summer months.

There are already regulations in place on a federal level from the US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Following those regulations and using California's regulations as a guideline can help insure that your business will be in compliance and your employees will be safe.

Education is key in protecting pollinators Email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015 10:00 AM


Landscape companies can help protect pollinatorsThe green industry is keenly aware of the public concern for the health of bees and other pollinators. It is responding with information, tools, and resources to help both landscape businesses and consumers make informed decisions.

This year, National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) issued Best Management Practices (BMPs) to Protect Pollinators, a list of practices recommended for landscape companies. The BMPs recommend an understanding of which plants attract pollinators and how to insure that those plants remain healthy pollinator habitats. 

Tweet your legislators Email
Tuesday, June 09, 2015 06:58 AM


TwitterTwitter has become a powerful tool for communications between legislators and their constituents. It allows citizens to communicate directly with their congressperson, city council, or other government officials about important and evolving issues. Grassroots efforts on Twitter can support advocacy efforts and affect change.

Interested in participating in advocacy from your computer or smartphone? It's as easy as opening your Twitter app.

Thousands of unused H-2B visas are now available Email
Friday, June 05, 2015 10:58 AM

On June 5, 2015, USCIS will reopen the congressionally mandated fiscal year (FY) 2015 cap and will accept Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting new H-2B workers with an employment start date between April 1 and September 30, 2015.

EPA proposes new label restrictions for pesticides Email
Tuesday, June 02, 2015 10:58 AM

New proposal from Environmental Protection Agency

EPA has posted to the Federal Register a document entitled “Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products, Notice of Availability.” There is will be a 31-day comment period, ending June 29, 2015 on this proposal for changes to pesticide labeling.

Legislative alert regarding Clean Water Act Rule Email
Friday, May 29, 2015 10:58 AM

BREAKING NEWS: Call for advocacy efforts

National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), of which ALCC is a member, issued the following legislative alert in response to the recently released Clean Water Act Rule:

EPA finalizes Clean Water Rule Email
Thursday, May 28, 2015 10:58 AM

Clean Water RuleClean Water Rule finalized
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army finalized the Clean Water Act Rule "to clearly protect from pollution and degradation the streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources." The rule will be in effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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