The monarch butterfly is a new national priority species of Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW), a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). NRCS and USFWS recently completed a conference report that explains how conservation practices can help the eastern monarch population, a species known for its remarkable annual, multi-generational migration.
Through WLFW, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help producers adopt conservation practices that benefit the monarch. Meanwhile, through the conference report, the USFWS provides producers with regulatory predictability should the monarch become listed under the ESA. Predictability provides landowners with peace of mind – no matter the legal status of a species under ESA – that they can keep their working lands working with NRCS conservation systems in place.
Work through WLFW centers on 10 states in the Midwest and southern Great Plains that are considered the core of the monarch’s migration route and breeding habitat. 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.