Oregon

The information for Southern Oregon was provided by Tom Landis, nurseries@aol.com.  Please contact him for additional information about the update.

The information for Central Oregon was provided by Amanda Egertson, amanda@deschuteslandtrust.org.  Please contact her for additional information about the update.

INTRODUCTION

Southern Oregon is a critical “stepping stone” for western monarchs as they migrate northward from the California overwintering sites each Spring.  And much of the rest of our state provides native milkweed and nectar-bearing plants to sustain them as they continue their amazing annual journey northward.  Likewise, it is one of the last rest stops as they return southward each fall.  We appreciate all of the concern and restoration work being done by our state neighbors; we’re doing our best to provide a safe haven as the monarchs arrive to reproduce and fuel up!

 

Our many advocacy groups that have grown and joined together also work directly with each of the agencies and organizations shown at the bottom of each page.  Restoration efforts range from residential and community scale Monarch Waystations, to new habitat on golf courses and utility rights of way, to large-scale restoration on public and private lands out in the wild.  This provides an interconnected "Monarch Highway” through our state.  We also have been participating with the western monarch tagging research for many years, and are proud to have helped our researchers learn where, when, and how monarchs move through the west.

 

The three native milkweed species here in Oregon are very important to our monarchs each season.  There is currently a collaboration of agencies and groups to grow and produce local native milkweed for seed and seedlings for use on public and private lands throughout the state.  We also see the incredible importance of outreach - now more than ever!  Classroom talks, “virtual” presentations, the 2020 Western Monarch Summit, 100s of presentations throughout the west, planting work parties, and City festivals; these activities occur all over our state!

There are now more advocacy groups in Oregon than in any other western state:

Southern Oregon Monarch Advocates (SOMA)

www.somonarchs.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/somonarchs

Monarch Advocates of Central Oregon

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/monarchadvocatesofcentraloregon

Brookings Oregon Monarch Advocates (BOMA)

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/2291948784231045/

Portland Monarchs

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/400354500657632/

Monarch and Milkweed Network: Eugene/Springfield

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MonarchsMilkweedEugeneSpringfield/

NEWS UPDATE

Southern Oregon

 

The 2020 monarch season was generally discouraging in Oregon with many advocates not seeing any monarchs or finding eggs or caterpillars.  Luckily, there were some notable exceptions like monarch whisperer Tanya Havinear who lives in the Rogue Valley.  Tanya started by finding 7 monarch eggs on narrowleaf milkweed near her home in Talent, OR on August 8th, and then her dad called and said a monarch had been active behind his home in East Medford.  She and her dad found 23 more eggs (Photo TDL-1) and ended up raising and releasing 19 healthy monarchs herself, and gave 10 eggs to Belinda Vos who raised and released 7 more.  Tanya also took some great photos which she posted on Facebook including one of a newly emerged minicat eating the egg casing (Photo TDL-2).

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While we were waiting for monarchs, Southern Oregon advocates were maintaining their Waystations through weeding, watering, and adding new nectar plants.  We’ve had the good fortune of enlisting the help of the nice folks at Medford Bee City USA. They have designated one section of our Waystation at Coyote Trails Nature Center in south Medford, and will be installing new pollinator plants during this coming winter.  This Waystation already has a surplus of narrowleaf and showy milkweeds, and we’ve had to thin them out so that our interpretive sign is visible to the Bear Creek bike path (Photo TDL-3).  It’s important to realize that Waystations are also a valuable way to educate the public on the plight of our western monarchs and what we are doing to help them.  Due to the generosity of a local biker, we were able to purchase and install sturdy signs that identify the various plants with their common and scientific names (Photo TDL-4).

Central Oregon

 

Over in Central Oregon, Amanda Egertson of the Deschutes Land Trust has been busy supplying locally-adapted showy and narrowleaf milkweed seeds and plants to local communities.  She contracted with Clearwater Native Plant Nursery in Redmond, OR to grow 2000 native milkweed plants to be planted by local students.

 

When COVID issues made the school plantings impossible, Amanda worked with monarch advocates throughout Central Oregon (Bend, Prineville, Madras, Warm Springs) to get the milkweeds and nectar plants in the ground this fall – all while wearing masks and practicing social distancing.  (Photo TDL-5). 

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Amanda has also continued her work with local schools to get students excited about pollinators, as evidenced by this great photo taken by Tracey Sklenar, a counselor at Buff Elementary in Madras, OR (Photo TDL-6).   Amanda has also been getting the word out through articles in 2 local newspapers – the Madras Pioneer and the Central Oregonian – which has resulted in call for milkweed seeds and offers to help next season. 

Brookings

Oregon Coast

 

Over on the Southern Oregon coast, Dennis Triglia and Holly Beyer of the Brookings Oregon Monarch Advocates (BOMA) have also been working with local kids like Claire Pieper who, at 11 years old, is their newest and youngest member.  With some monarch eggs supplied by Holly, Claire raised and released her first monarchs this past summer.  She was so inspired by her experience that she developed a monarch exhibit for the Brookings Home school Science Fair in October (Photo TDL – 7).  

 

Because she impressed other students and adults alike, Claire won First Place in her age group as well as the People’s Choice Award.  Dennis and Holly presented Claire a framed Certificate of Appreciation for her efforts to save the monarchs and raise awareness about their plight (Photo TDL – 8).  Claire’s dad, Jake Pieper, is the current mayor of Brookings who signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge in February 2020 on behalf of Monarch City USA Brookings.

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Portland

 

Ida Galash started a Facebook group called Portland Monarchs in October of 2019 and has been growing milkweed seeds and plants to give to local advocates.  This coming year she’s expanding her outreach to include seeds and seedlings of locally-adapted pollinator plants.  Ida posts helpful hits regularly on her Facebook page, and ask local gardeners to send her a personal message if they’d like to join or want seeds or plants.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

Native Milkweed in Oregon

 

Native milkweed presence and health is a big concern throughout the northwest.  Five species of milkweeds are native to Oregon and all are used as a larval host by western monarchs:

The two most common species are showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) and narrowleaf milkweed (A. fascicularis) can be found throughout Oregon as shown by the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper:

Milkweeds and pollinator plants are adapted to their local environment, and so we recommend that the Level III Ecoregions be used as seed zones which are designated by different colors in the following map.  The monarch advocates listed have agreed to serve as information sources to help find local sources of milkweeds and pollinator plants.

Download PDF articles about propagating, growing, buying milkweeds, and developing monarch waystations:

Contacts for Information on Monarchs in Oregon

Stephanie Hazen

stephaniehazen17 @gmail.com

Dennis Triglia

trigliad@yahoo.com

Finding Locally-adapted Milkweed Seeds, Plants and other Pollinator Plants

 

Milkweeds and pollinator plants are adapted to their local environment, and so we recommend that the Level III Ecoregions be used as seed zones which are designated by different colors in the following map.  The monarch advocates listed have agreed to serve as information sources to help find local sources of milkweeds and pollinator plants.

Monarch Waystations in Oregon

 

Monarch advocacy groups in Oregon have been creating monarch waystations (specialized pollinator gardens) in backyard gardens for many years. 

 

They have also established community-scale monarch waystations in highly visible locations that are useful for educating the public and fostering support for western monarchs.

 

We have also helped restore monarch habitat on large rural acreages.

This waystation sign is posted at the entrance to the Sampson Creek Preserve where 40 acres of monarch habitat were restored

Here are a few examples in Southwest Oregon:

Coyote Trails Nature Center in Southern Medford

This is the oldest and most developed waystation in the area and is easily accessible along the Bear Creek Bike Trail and the road leading to the baseball fields.A nearby picnic shelter and ADA pathway make it accessible to all ages.

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J.H. Stone Nursery in Central Point

 

This Waystation was developed with the help of the U.S. Forest Service staff in March of 2014, and planted with native milkweed and other pollinator plants in April and May.  The nursery grows milkweed and pollinator plants and donated some transplants to the Waystation. 

 

Since there is no water source, we had to irrigate with 5-gallon water cans throughout the summer and, over Labor Day weekend, we found our first monarch caterpillars.  Due to vigorous grass and forb competition, maintenance has been on ongoing issue, so a thick mulch layer was applied in 2019 to save water and reduce weed growth.

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Welcome Center on Interstate 5 near Ashland

 

This newest monarch waystation was made possible by the Oregon Department of Transportation who constructed the raised bed at the south end of the complex.  Native milkweeds and pollinator plants were installed in early May, 2014 and watered-in using an ODOT truck with a 200-gallon water tank. 

 

ODOT crews have agreed to water the plants weekly through the summer.  This high visibility location will provide an excellent way to educate the public on the need to help monarchs, bees, and other pollinators.

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Oregon advocates have also taken some of the first steps to create Waystations on golf courses, and a former fish hatchery!

Summary

 

Predictions of monarch numbers for the California overwintering sites are forecasted to be catastrophically low this coming winter, which just increases the resolve of Oregon monarch advocates.  We will continue creating and maintaining monarch waystations in our backyards, in community parks, and along local bike paths and roads.  We know that these efforts are increasing local awareness and providing invaluable habitat to bees and other pollinators as we await the return of our western monarchs.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

None

Videos about the Western Monarch Summit
MONARCH NEWS IN OREGON
USEFUL LINKS

Help Us Conserve the

Western Monarch

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received a petition to list the monarch butterfly under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  Their decision is due December 2020.  https://www.fws.gov/savethemonarch/SSA.html

Important Links

WMA provides and updates the information on these pages as a vehicle to encourage people to seek and interact with each other. We make no representation other than that.  This is not a formal "clearing house" where all information is vetted or approved by another organization or government entity.

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