For more information on Monarchs in Utah contact Rachel Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org
MONARCH NEWS IN UTAH
August 1, 2020 - After a strong and early start to our monarch breeding season, we have settled into what feels like “the new normal” level of monarch breeding activity in the northern half of the state, with the southern part of the state fairly quiet. We have had confirmed reports of monarchs as far south as Capital Reef and north to Cache Valley; and from EskDale on the west to the Green River on the east.
Photo courtesy Sarah Chambers, Highland, UT
Photo courtesy Rachel Taylor, SLC, UT
Photo courtesy Jennifer Dowd, River Heights, UT
Fairmont Park (SLC) breeding habitat is successful in attracting breeding monarchs for the season!
Video courtesy Carrie de Azevedo-Poulsen
REGIONAL GROUPS & ACTIVITIES
For fun activities, educational events (including schools gardens and activities) and to connect with others in your area, please see the respective links below for more details.
This spring, the city of Cedar Hills became the first city/town in Utah to achieve the designation of Monarch City, USA, thanks to the efforts of Anette Stephens.
She also has an official registered Monarch Waystation; the schoolkids in Cedar Hills Elementary planted a monarch waystation, which is already attracting monarchs who are laying eggs!
UTAH MONARCH ADVOCATES
The first ever Western Monarch Summit was held in Carmel, CA on January 10-12, 2020, bringing together monarch enthusiasts from all over the western US, including Robert Pyle (founder of Xerces) and Dr. Chip Taylor (founder Monarch Watch) and 8-10 individuals from Utah. It was a great event focused on expert knowledge, monarch tagging, current issues the western monarch population faces. We visited overwintering sites and learned how to do winter counts. As a group, we now meet monthly to share events and activities, do community outreach, and try to reach more monarch and pollinator enthusiasts throughout the state of Utah.
Present at the meeting were Mindy Wheeler and Amanda Barth from the State of Utah DNR; Becky Yeager, Rose Greer, Jenn Down from Cache Valley, Rachel Taylor and Todd Stoud from Salt Lake City.
UTAH DIVISION NATURAL RESOURCES (DNR) PROJECT
In 2019, the State of Utah Division of Natural Resources (DNR) partnered with local monarch enthusiasts to help develop a portion of the WAFWA Western Monarch Butterfly Conservation Plan from 2019 to 2069. In addition, we established a website where we could share information statewide on monarchs and milkweed.
In addition, Utah’s DNR launched a project to identify where we have naturally occurring breeding habitat throughout the state -- in order to preserve, maintain and enhance that habitat. This is a huge unknown, as Utah has vast amounts of open space, much of which is BLM land. More than 80% of Utah’s population lives along a 120-mile stretch known as the Wasatch Front, and the rest of the state is much less densely populated.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS OFFERS FREE MILKWEED
Rachel Taylor, Research Associate for Southwest Monarch Study, leads the project with the DOC and University of Utah’s StemCAP program of taking science to the incarcerated. She completed the second season this June, and has provided thousands of seedlings to Salt Lake City and County Parks and Open Space; at Workshops in Salt Lake and Summit Counties, to various garden groups, and to individuals who are interested providing seedlings for projects and individuals who were interested.
2020 recipients included a project on the Jordan River, which runs from Utah Lake to Great Salt Lake – a natural riparian corridor with much potential for additional monarch conservation projects.
Utah Conservation Corps (UCC) Salt Lake City crew members worked with Utah’s Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission to plant native showy milkweed as part of a partnered biodiversity project.
This DOC project has the potential to grow various species of native milkweed for Utah to share in many areas of the state, as well as nectar flowers moving forward. Please stay tuned!
UTAH GOLF COURSES AND MONARCHS IN THE ROUGH
A program of Environmental Defense Fund and Audubon International
Utah currently has seven golf courses participating in the program called "Monarchs in the Rough", a program that partners with golf courses to restore pollinator habitat in “out of play” areas:
Bonneville Golf Course
Lakeside Golf Course
Logan River Golf Course
Rose Park Golf Course
Salt Lake Country Club
Soldier Hollow Golf Course
Willow Creek Country Club
RAE Environmental is a small NGO located in northern Utah. In 2019 we launched our program Western Monarch Pollinator Pathways (WMPP), a dedicated conservation effort to increasing habitat availability and connectivity along monarch migratory corridors. The majority of our efforts are currently in northern and central Utah where we take a 3-level approach for increasing habitat:
1.) Elementary School Garden Program - we provide plants and resources for elementary schools to establish a pollinator garden on school grounds, with the option of certifying it as an official monarch way station;
2.) Large Landowner Sanctuaries - we work with landowners owning >4 acres of property who desire to enhance or establish pollinator habitat;
3.) October Milkweed Awareness and Free Seed Distributions - for the month of October, we raise awareness for migrating monarchs and encourage individuals through our social media outlets to plant native milkweeds in their home gardens. Seeds are provided free of charge!
A combination of locally sourced native seeds and plants are provided with instructions and planting guidelines for all qualifying programs, free of charge. Last year we were able to distribute approximately 14,000 milkweed seeds and 1000 native seeds/plugs through our programs. Five Monarch Waystations are currently in production which will greatly increase our Waystation count in the northern part of the state.
In addition to individual efforts, we have been working closely with Monarchs of Bridgerland (northern Utah) to maximize conservation efforts, community outreach, and collaborative approaches to promote best practices. Other collaborations include project participation with Audubon Society, local parks and businesses, and regional consulting firms specializing in various habitat restoration projects.
More information about our organization and programs can be found on our website: raeenvironmentalinc.org