A Monarch Butterfly Summit was held June 22-23 at the Capitol in Washington D.C. to discuss western monarch conservation. The summit was organized by Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) and attended by Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Senators Ron Wyden (OR) and Alex Padilla (CA), Congressperson Jimmy Panetta (CA), Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Martha Williams. Scientific presenters included Amanda Barth (Western Monarch and Native Pollinator Working Group), Wendy Caldwell (Monarch Joint Venture), Ryan Drum (USFWS) and Wayne Thogmartin (USGS), Cat Darst (USFWS), Cheryl Schultz (Washington State University), Matt Forister (University of Nevada – Reno), Louie Yang (University of California – Davis), Sarah Hoyle (Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation), Francis Villablanca (Cal Poly State University), Elizabeth Crone (University of California – Davis), and Sarina Jepsen (Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation).
The Department of the Interior announced a $1 million dollar award to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund, and the Fish and Wildlife Service announced a Pollinator Conservation Center. In addition, two bills to support the Monarch Action, Recovery, and Conservation of Habitat (MONARCH) Act and the Monarch and Pollinator Highway Act were proposed last year; if passed, these acts would support a variety of initiatives focused on monarch research and conservation.