DES MOINES, IOWA—Funding and planning assistance are available to implement habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators on Iowa farms through USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Interested landowners should visit their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office by June 15 to apply.
NRCS is working with a group of conservation partners, led by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, on a RCPP project called “Improving Working Lands for Monarch Butterflies.” The project goal is to help farmers and other landowners reestablish the habitat necessary to restore monarch butterfly populations, particularly within the monarch’s breeding range and migration route. Iowa is one of eight states included in the project.
Through this RCPP project, landowners can choose from a suite of soil and water conservation practices such as establishing native prairie, installing contour buffer strips, or planting beneficial trees and shrubs.
Milkweed and diverse, nectaring forbs (wildflowers) are an important component of this project. Monarchs rely on milkweed for reproduction and forbs provide a food source for monarchs and other pollinators. Many of the practices available for adoption offer a higher than normal payment rate.
For more information about RCPP, including project maps and descriptions, visit the RCPP webpage at www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/ia/programs/farmbill/rcpp.
To apply for conservation practices through RCPP, visit your local NRCS field office and ask about the ‘Monarch RCPP’ today.
Contact: Paul Goldsmith, NRCS Acting Assistant State Conservationist