AMES ? Iowa landowners who want to be part of the buzz surrounding pollinators can learn more about establishing monarch butterfly and other pollinator habitat on their land at an upcoming series of workshops across the state.
?If you have questions about adding high-diversity habitat for monarchs and other pollinators to your land, these workshops are an excellent opportunity to gather information and begin planning a project,? said Dana Schweitzer, program coordinator for the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium at Iowa State University.
The workshops are organized and delivered by personnel from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Pheasants Forever, and other Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium partners. Topics will include best management practices for pollinator habitat and a summary of available cost-share programs.
The schedule of remaining workshops is:
? Today, 6:30-8 p.m., ISU Extension and Outreach Mitchell County office, Osage
? Wednesday, 6-7:30 p.m., County Conservation Bureau office, Maquoketa
? Wednesday, 6-7 p.m., Northwest Iowa Community College, Sheldon
? Thursday, 5:30-6:30 p.m., ISU Extension and Outreach Bremer County office, Tripoli
? Thursday, 6-7:30 p.m., ISU Extension and Outreach Montgomery County office, Red Oak
The mission of the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium is to enhance monarch reproduction and survival through coordinated efforts of farmers, private citizens and their organizations. Monarch populations have declined markedly over the past 20 years due to a loss of grassland habitat and the elimination of native milkweeds. To address this issue, Farm Bill conservation programs can provide financial and technical assistance to Iowa landowners to implement practices that provide breeding and foraging habitat that is critical to monarchs and other pollinators.
?Pheasants Forever is excited to collaborate with the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium and the NRCS to increase awareness of best management practices and conservation programs for monarch habitat in Iowa,? said Josh Divan, monarch coordinating biologist with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.
Iowa NRCS currently has two conservation program opportunities specially earmarked for landowners to implement monarch habitat practices ? the Conservation Stewardship Program and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The next funding cutoff deadline for CSP is Friday and for EQIP is March 16.
To attend a workshop, sign up with the USDA Service Center or ISU Extension and Outreach office in the host county. If unable attend a workshop, call or visit the local NRCS office for information about ways to provide habitat for monarchs and other pollinators land, or go online to www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov.