Texas Agriculture May 6, 2016 : Page6

New details revealed in Monarch recovery plan By Julie Tomascik Associate Editor A butterfly on the brink. But Tex-as agriculture can help. The distinctive Monarch has faced years of population decline due to a number of factors. Logging in Mexico, where the butterfly over-winters. Drought severely affected milkweed—the insect’s food source. And agriculture has long treated the same milkweed as a pest. But a plan is in place. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) is working in co-operation with 143 Soil and Water Conservation Districts throughout the state to enhance and restore Monarch butterfly habitat. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, along with the U.S. De-partment of Natural Resources Con-servation Service, provided funding. Texas farmers, ranchers and private landowners can participate in the project, which develops conservation plans and funds the planting of polli-nator-friendly plant species on 1,600 acres of rural Texas lands along the Monarch’s migratory pattern. “We are aiming to protect, con-serve and increase habitat for the Monarch across the state,” said TSSWCB project manag-er Liza Parker. “We’re looking for private landowners to help with this project.” And there’s an incentive. Funding—$375 per acre— will be available for tracts of land between 1 and 30 acres to help cover seed cost, plant-ing and maintenance of the land. Seed cost will vary by company. “Once an application is selected, one of our regional staff members or a district technician will then visit the location,” Parker said. “They will work with the applicant to de-termine what seed mixes are appro-priate for them and what’s going to be the appropriate way to plant the seed depending on their landscape, soil type and how the land is being used.” It’s a site-specific conservation 100 and 300 square feet. “We do realize schools and busi-nesses often hire a landscaping com-pany and the costs associated with that are usually higher,” Parker said. “The urban gardens would have a max payment of $1,700.” From rural lands to schools and businesses, Texas is one of the lead-ing states in Monarch habitat resto-ration and enhancement due simply to its geographic location. Monarchs migrate through Texas to Mexico where they overwinter and back through Texas on their journey north. More than 175 coun-ties near the I-35 corridor are in the migration route and are part of the area covered for the project. Interested applicants can find more information, as well as appli-cations, online at tsswcb.texas.gov/ monarch. The applications must be submitted through the applicant’s local Soil and Water Conservation District. planning process. And the agency will recommend ideal planting times and establish any type of routine maintenance needed. Schools and municipalities also will qualify for funding to develop a Monarch butterfly garden between THE 30% FEDERAL TAX CREDIT EXPIRES AT THE END OF 2016 Homeowners around the world have switched from propane to a WaterFurnace geothermal comfort system. That’s because WaterFurnace units tap into the clean, renewable energy found in your own backyard to provide savings of up to 70% on heating, cooling and hot water. A WaterFurnace system provides complete heating and cooling comfort for your home with a single unit. And because the system doesn’t burn fossil fuels, there are no carbon monoxide safety concerns. Contact your local WaterFurnace dealer today and make the smart move from propane to geothermal. M AY 6 , 2016 To locate a WaterFurnace dealer near you, visit digdownforcomfort.com visit us at waterfurnace.com WaterFurnace is a registered trademark of WaterFurnace International, Inc. ©2016 WaterFurnace International, Inc. 6

New Details Revealed in Monarch Recovery Plan

Julie Tomascik

A butterfly on the brink. But Texas agriculture can help.

The distinctive Monarch has faced years of population decline due to a number of factors. Logging in Mexico, where the butterfly overwinters. Drought severely affected milkweed—the insect’s food source. And agriculture has long treated the same milkweed as a pest.

But a plan is in place. The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) is working in cooperation with 143 Soil and Water Conservation Districts throughout the state to enhance and restore Monarch butterfly habitat.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, along with the U.S. Department of Natural Resources Conservation Service, provided funding. Texas farmers, ranchers and private landowners can participate in the project, which develops conservation plans and funds the planting of pollinator-friendly plant species on 1,600 acres of rural Texas lands along the Monarch’s migratory pattern.

“We are aiming to protect, conserve and increase habitat for the Monarch across the state,” said TSSWCB project manager Liza Parker. “We’re looking for private landowners to help with this project.”

And there’s an incentive. Funding—$375 per acre— will be available for tracts of land between 1 and 30 acres to help cover seed cost, planting and maintenance of the land. Seed cost will vary by company.

“Once an application is selected, one of our regional staff members or a district technician will then visit the location,” Parker said. “They will work with the applicant to determine what seed mixes are appropriate for them and what’s going to be the appropriate way to plant the seed depending on their landscape, soil type and how the land is being used.”

It’s a site-specific conservation planning process. And the agency will recommend ideal planting times and establish any type of routine maintenance needed.

Schools and municipalities also will qualify for funding to develop a Monarch butterfly garden between 100 and 300 square feet.

“We do realize schools and businesses often hire a landscaping company and the costs associated with that are usually higher,” Parker said. “The urban gardens would have a max payment of $1,700.”

From rural lands to schools and businesses, Texas is one of the leading states in Monarch habitat restoration and enhancement due simply to its geographic location.

Monarchs migrate through Texas to Mexico where they overwinter and back through Texas on their journey north. More than 175 counties near the I-35 corridor are in the migration route and are part of the area covered for the project.

Interested applicants can find more information, as well as applications, online at tsswcb.texas.gov/monarch. The applications must be submitted through the applicant’s local Soil and Water Conservation District.

Read the full article at http://texasagriculture.texasfarmbureau.org/article/New+Details+Revealed+in+Monarch+Recovery+Plan/2473668/300782/article.html.

Waterfurnace

Using a screen reader? Click Here