NRCS Program Focuses on Improving Monarch Butterfly Habitat
(COLUMBIA, MO) March 21, 2016 -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing funds across 10 states, including Missouri, for financial and technical assistance through the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project. Missouri farmers, ranchers and landowners can apply for funding for monarch habitat establishment and restoration at local NRCS offices. Applications for the initial round of funding must be submitted by May 20.
“We’re excited to be one of the 10 states nationally where funding is available to improve monarch butterfly habitat,” NRCS State Conservationist J.R. Flores said. “Monarch butterfly numbers have decreased significantly over the past few years. One of the reasons is a decline in milkweed, the primary plant used by monarchs to lay their eggs. It’s our hope that this targeted funding will increase habitat in the monarch migration path and increase the population of this beautiful butterfly.”
NRCS and its partners have staff located in NRCS field offices throughout the state who are willing to assist landowners interested in providing habitat for monarchs. NRCS will target Environmental Quality Incentives Program funds to farmers willing to establish monarch-friendly plantings in strategically positioned areas. Practices also include managing those areas by installing fence and by controlling brush and weeds.