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

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

By:  KPIC News Team

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 Oregon.
  • 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.