Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat
In response to the decline in monarch populations, the Keystone Policy Center has assembled a working group of diverse professionals from many arenas to identify comprehensive solutions to improve and maintain monarch butterfly habitat and populations. The overarching mission of the Keystone Monarch Collaborative is “to identify how partnerships in the farming and ranching community can support and enhance habitat for a sustainable monarch population” (Keystone Policy Center 2015a).
Farmers and private landowners are poised to play an important role in monarch conservation, due to the amount of land they manage across much of the monarchs’ range that includes existing monarch habitat, as well as areas where habitat could be added or improved. The Keystone Collaborative engages farmers and landowners to combine productive agricultural methods with monarch conservation practices. Keystone is working to identify monarch conservation practices to implement on working farms.
“The conservation practices being developed are intended for use on lands that are not in crop production. Suitable habitat sites could be non-crop areas in agricultural landscapes, including field borders, conservation strips, riparian buffers, roadsides, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land, marginal land, wetlands, easements, and utility rights-of-way” (Keystone Policy Center 2015b). Some initial actions to benefit monarch butterflies include leaving existing milkweed that does not compete with crop production; increasing awareness of monarch conservation strategies in agricultural zones; and motivating the implementation of these conservation strategies on private and agricultural land.