Western monarch populations have dropped by over 99% since the 1980s (Pelton EM, et. al., 2019). Studies indicate the critical importance of restoring breeding and migratory habitat in California as monarch populations may be near their extinction threshold. Farmers and ranchers on the Central Coast manage essential overwintering and migratory habitat for western monarch populations. In 2021, the US-LT RCD was awarded multiple grants to help improve monarch habitat on working lands within our district. While many landowners may be interested in doing their part to help this iconic species, the cost for planning, implementing, and maintaining monarch habitat can be prohibitive. Our grant funding helps provide technical guidance to landowners to improve monarch habitat through site specific plans and native species recommendations.
Additionally, the formation of a Regional Monarch Working Group is a key component to one of our monarch grant programs. Upon initial outreach during the formation process, the US-LT RCD discovered the Central Coast State Parks Association's Western Monarch Trail Working Group. The Western Monarch Trail is a multi-agency collaboration with representatives from federal and state agencies, non-profit organizations and private entities taking a grass roots approach to educating, advocating and making change in support of the western monarch. Lead partners include The Xerces Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, California State Parks, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Central Coast State Parks Association, and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. We are excited to particapte in this Monarch Working Group to help local partners collaborate on monarch conservation to scale up and speed up restoration efforts on the Central Coast. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to become part of Monarch Working Group, please contact Amy Smart at firstname.lastname@example.org
For a list of California native nectar and shelter plants critical for monarchs, click the link below:US-LT RCD Monarch Plant List.pdf