Friday, March 17, 2023
On Friday, Senator Jeff Merkley, along with Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) announced the 2023 Monarch Action, Recovery and Conservation of Habitat (MONARCH) Act.
The bill was introduced to the U.S. Senate Friday, over the coming weeks it will be introduced in the House of Representatives. The Act would help prevent the extinction of the western monarch butterfly as well as other important pollinators.
Fridays introduction builds on a “series of actions” led by Senator Merkley to revive populations of western monarch and other pollinators. Back in December 2022, Merkley had announced over $500-thousand for west coast monarch butterfly and pollinator conservation.
“We’ve all experienced the moment of childhood joy and excitement when we spot a butterfly dancing in the air,” said Senator Merkley. “Though western monarch populations were already in peril, this year’s extreme winter storms have hit overwintering monarchs hard and made addressing this threat even more urgent. Protecting monarch butterflies and other pollinators is a critical issue that requires sustainable solutions, and we must do everything we can to implement experts’ conservation plans and save these species before time runs out.”
Since the 1980’s, the western monarch butterfly’s population has dropped by 99%.
Merkley says that the MONARCH Act would help provide urgent protections for the struggling population of the western monarch butterfly.
This legislation would authorize $62.5 million for projects aimed at conserving the western monarch and an additional $62.5 million to implement the Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan, which was prepared by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in January 2019. The $62.5 million in funding for each effort would be divided into five annual installments of $12.5 million.
The MONARCH Act is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).