Merkley announces over $500,000 for west coast monarch butterfly & pollinator conservation

Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley announced Monday, December
5, $557,600 in federal funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s
Monarch and Pollinator Fund.

That money will go to improve western monarch butterfly and
pollinator habitats in Oregon and California.

Back in June of 2022, Merkley hosted a summit to
reverse the falling population of the monarch butterfly and secured a
$1-million contribution for the NFWF Monarch and Pollinator Conservation
Fund and the establishment of a Pollinator Conservation Center at the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service.

The Monarch and Pollinator Fund funded a total of 16
projects, 3 of those projects are in Oregon and California.

 “Protecting monarch butterflies is an urgent
issue that requires sustainable solutions,” said Senator Merkley, “If
we let the western monarch butterfly go extinct, we’ll lose an iconic,
beautiful species and an important pollinator forever. I am happy to see more
projects come to fruition that will help ensure future generations are able to
enjoy the monarch butterfly.”

These three projects, funded by the NFWF Monarch
Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund, will focus on preserving the
western monarch butterfly by improving the availability of high-quality
habitat; increasing the capacity needed to expand conservation efforts into the
future; and supporting the implementation of technical assistance to engage
private landowners with pollinator conservation practices on working lands. By
leveraging the resources and expertise of partners, the program aims to help
reverse recent population declines and ensure the survival of the monarch
butterfly and other pollinators.

Award Recipients:

  • Monarch
    Joint Venture: $207,700 to help expand the California Working Lands Free
    Seed Program to include Oregon and provide technical assistance, seed
    mixes, and milkweed seedlings to public lands, private working lands, and
    private non-working lands including businesses, corporate campuses, school
    campuses, community sites, and solar energy sites in California and
  • The
    Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: $175,000 to help increase
    habitat by expanding the Monarch and Pollinator Habitat Kit Program and
    provide technical assistance to 40 land managers on public and private
    lands in California and the Willamette Valley region of Oregon.
  • Pollinator
    Partnership: $174,900 to help improve habitat for monarch butterflies by
    providing technical support to agricultural producers on private working
    lands in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Columbia Plateau, and Southern Oregon
    regions as well as regions in California.