Monarch Joint Venture: Enhance your properties habitat with native prairie plantings and join the millions who are partnering across the U.S. to conserve the Monarch Migration.
The idea of proper land management includes having a wide diversity of quality habitat within the limitations of your property and the surrounding area. If you, the landowner, are interested in optimizing the potential of the natural resources on your property, then a critical eye needs to be taken to determine what you currently have and what improvements can be enhanced or restored.
One land management opportunity that is taking off across the country is the Monarch Joint Venture, a multiagency partnership across the U.S. to conserve the monarch migration. In the right situation, there is cost-share funding available to landowners to enhance your property’s potential to assist with this venture. Ensuring the availability of quality habitat is critical for the conservation of any species.
The monarch migration is one of nature’s most spectacular events. Much as birds migrate to take advantage of resources available across a large landscape, North American monarchs travel up to an astonishing 3,000 miles in an annual migration from their summer breeding habitat to overwintering grounds.
Monarchs cannot survive without milkweed. Monarch caterpillars require milkweed to grow and develop into butterflies, and female monarch butterflies only lay their eggs on milkweed. With shifting land management practices, we have lost much milkweed from the landscape. This is where we the landowner comes in. Every backyard can become an oasis for monarchs and other pollinators – even cities, schools, youth and community groups, businesses, and state and local governments can engage in planting native milkweed and protecting monarch habitat along roadsides, rights of way, and other public and private lands. In addition to the important role that milkweeds play in the lives of monarchs, they are valuable nectar resources for a diverse suite of bees and butterflies. Enhancing monarch habitat will thus benefit many other pollinators. As we all know, honey bees are one of the most important pollinators across the country for many of the crops that we depend on.
So how does this joint venture impact you and the landowner? Through the 2015 Farm Bill, your Farm Service Center’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has several opportunities for promoting the pollinator program and the Monarch Joint Venture. If you have a landowner that may be interested in improving or restoring the grassland/prairie component on their property or is interested in a butterfly garden or improving the pollinators on their property, then now is the time to take action.
If I can be of assistance to you or a landowner, please feel free to give me a call.