The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has announced an exciting new Working Lands for Wildlife Initiative to reverse the decline of monarch butterflies. Read the press release here.
The effort represents a partnership between the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the USFWS and targets agricultural land in the eastern monarch's primary migration corridor between Canada and Mexico.
The press release states, "Much of this work will focus on planting and enhancing stands of milkweed and other high-value nectar plants for monarchs. Assistance is available to producers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin."
While the USFWS has committed $20 million over five years to the initiative, they are actively working with other organizations and agencies in the United States, Mexico and Canada to leverage other public and private funding sources. Another bonus is that increasing habitat for monarchs increases habitat for other species, including a wide variety of pollinators.
According to the press release, "Through the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, released by the White House, the United States has a goal of increasing the eastern population of monarchs back to 225 million by 2020."
On August 21, Minneapolis made a bold move for bees. According to WCCB CBS Minnesota, their resolution means the city will now plant more food for pollinators and decrease pesticide use on land the city owns and manages. Three cheers for Minneapolis!
September 18 Is Last Day for Congressmen to Sign On to Letter Urging EPA to Revise Pesticide Regulation to Protect Pollinators
Please support the congressman who are trying to use the leadership of the EPA to turn the tide for pollinators. September 18 is the last day for Representatives to sign on to a letter to the EPA from Representatives Blumenauer (OR) and Conyers (MI), which the Xerces Society says, "outlines clear ways EPA could review and revise pesticide regulation to protect pollinators." This would be great time to email or call your Representative to share your concerns.
Header photo by: Nancy Lee Adamson
These are the opinions and events of interest to the Bee City USA coordinator and Xerces Society.