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Feds Providing Help To Improve Monarch Butterfly Habitat

USDA Makes $4M Available To Private Landowners In Midwest

two monarch butterflies and milkweed
Samuel (CC-BY-NC)

Private landowners throughout the Midwest could do more to help monarch butterflies — and be compensated for their work — under a new federal program.

Officials with the U.S. Agriculture Department said a total of $4 million will go to landowners in Wisconsin and nine other states in the Midwest and southern Great Plains. People living near wetlands and along field borders who plant the milkweed and nectar-rich plants that attract monarchs will get technical and financial assistance.

State Conservationist Jimmy Bramblett of the Natural Resources Conservation Service said landowners won’t have to change much.

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“It’s just an opportunity to offer them an incentive to do some more enhanced conservation activities in planting these pollinators that will attract butterflies, honeybees and a variety of other pollinators as well,” he said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering whether monarch butterflies should be listed as an endangered species.

Bramblett said his agency is part of an effort trying to spark a six-fold increase in the monarch population by 2020.

Correction: An earlier version of this story contained an inaccurately transcribed quote.

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