Monarch Conservation Toolbox

Best Management Practices

Draft Pollinator-Friendly Best Management Practices for Federal Lands

United States Department Of Agriculture (USDA) | United States Department of the Interior (USDOI)

United States


Land Use / Land Cover
Farm or adjacent, Multiple Categories

Agency Type

Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat

Publication Type
Draft Report

Original Language

This draft report introduces Federal lands BMP guidance from the USDA and USDOI, directed toward US federal departments and agencies. It provides prescriptive information regarding pollinator habitat enhancement and persistence, as well as protection of pollinators in the course of habitat management. Recommendations are outlined for a range of land uses/land covers (LULCs), including forest, grassland, ROWs, shrub land, riparian and wildlife openings, and BMPs are discussed in the context of habitat objectives and their biological or ecological purposes.

Proposed key steps include information-gathering regarding existing habitat and habitat quality, existing or target pollinator species, and appropriate plant materials sources. BMPs also focus on adaptive management of habitat and public outreach. Recommendations are provided for activities such as restoration, revegetation, rehabilitation, and for reducing impacts from other land management activities. Certain habitat elements are targeted by these BMPs, including wildflower forage, butterfly host plants and overwintering refuges. Habitat attributes important to pollinators, and descriptions of pollinator behavior are described in some detail, referencing published research and research reviews.

Many recommendations focus on the distance between and arrangement and combination of habitats for multiple seasons and life stages, as well as the timing of specific actions to reduce impacts to pollinators. Most BMP types are applicable across LULCs, with recommendations specific to each indicated when appropriate. Targeted recommendations, such as maintaining forb diversity in wetlands and thinning forest understory habitat, are outlined for each habitat type. The formation of an interdisciplinary team is proposed as a first step to addressing pollinator and pollinator habitat management, including recommended consultation with expert entomologists, botanists, ecologists and wildlife biologists.

Outreach to both the public and to other agency staff is discussed as a strategy to ensure integrated land management and long-term benefits of BMPs. Monarch habitat is specifically, albeit briefly, addressed (USDA USDOI 2015).

US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Interior (USDA USDOI). 2015. Draft pollinator-friendly best management practices for federal lands. May 11, 2015.

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