A coalition of leading scientists, environmentalists, writers and artists wrote the presidents of the U.S., Canada and Mexico on Valentine’s Day to petition for a dramatic expansion of milkweed habitat in eastern North America.
“A milkweed corridor stretching along the entire migratory route of the monarch butterfly through our three countries must be established. This will show the political will of our governments to save the living symbol of the North American Free Trade Agreement. We the undersigned hope that you will discuss the future of the monarch butterfly during the North American leaders’ Summit that will take place on February 19-20, 2014 in Toluca, state of Mexico,” they write.
The request includes specific proposals that 25-foot roadside strips and medians east of the Rocky Mountains to be managed to support the growth of milkweeds to create 19 million acres of milkweed habitat and an incentive program to pay farmers to set aside toxin-free areas for milkweeds. The letter notes that there are 3.2 million miles of roads suitable for this program east of the Rockies.
Sure beats the heck out of Monarch Waystations as a long-term, sustainable approach to Monarch conservation, but would likely have a tremendous spill-over effect for other native pollinators and other plants and animals as well — but only as long as this isn’t managed as a milkweed monoculture.
Click to read the 2014 monarch migration corridor letter.
The Los Angeles Times is also reporting this story.
Among the signatories of note:
Dr. Alfonso Alonso, Smithsonian Institution, USA
Dr. Sonia M. Altizer, University of Georgia, USA
Dr. Michael Boppre, University of Freiburg, Germany
Dr. Lincoln P. Brower, Sweet Briar College, USA
Dr. Linda S, Fink, Sweet Briar College, USA
Dr. Barrie Frost, Queens University, Ontario, Canada
Dr. Jordi Honey-Roses, University of British Columbia, Canada
Dr. Pablo F. Jaramillo-López, UNAM, Michoacán, Mexico
Dr. Stephen B. Malcolm, Western Michigan University, USA
Dr. Karen Oberhauser, University of Minnesota, USA
Dr. Robert M. Pyle, Grays River, Washington, USA
Dr. Isabel Ramirez, UNAM, Michoacan, Mexico
Dr. Orley R. Taylor, University of Kansas, USA
Dr. Stuart B. Weiss, Creekside Center for Earth Observations, CA, USA
Dr. Ernest H. Williams, Hamilton College, USA
Dr. Dick Vane-Wright, the Natural History Museum, London, UK
Dr. Myron P. Zalucki, University of Queensland, Australia
Dr. Daniel Slayback, Science Systems & Applications, Inc., MD, USA