Mayor Chris Beutler has signed the National Wildlife Federation's Mayoral Monarch Pledge to take action to help save the monarch butterfly and other pollinators by prioritizing restoration and enhancement of their habitat. The pledge has been signed by hundreds of mayors and other local government chief executives. Cities will report progress and share best practices, providing an opportunity for the Federation to track the impact of efforts nationwide.
The State has identified at least 15 at-risk pollinator species including butterflies, moths and bumble bees in Nebraska. Monarch butterflies have experienced a 90 percent decline in the past two decades. The Nebraska Wildlife Action Plan also identifies the regal fritillary butterfly as a species in great need of conservation. Legal petitions were filed in 2013 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that seeks Endangered Species Act protection for these two species.
"Earlier this week, we released the final Lincoln Environmental Action Plan and announced new developments in the creation of a Prairie Corridor on Haines Branch," Beutler said. "Both of these initiatives reflect our concern about the decline in pollinator species. Extensive, proactive conservation measures have the potential to prevent the need for a threatened or endangered listing of the monarch butterfly and other pollinators in Nebraska."
The Lincoln Environmental Action Plan includes an action strategy in the area of land use to restore and re-establish key natural resources and wildlife habitat. The plan is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: LEAP). The Prairie Corridor partnership includes research by UNL's School of Natural Resources to study ways to increase pollinator species through tallgrass prairie management, restoration and re-establishment. More information on the Prairie Corridor on Haines Branch is available at prairiecorridor.org.
In June, Mayor Beutler issued a proclamation for National Pollinator Week, encouraging residents to learn how they can make their landscapes pollinator-friendly. National Pollinator Week was established by Congress ten years ago to address the decline of pollinators, including monarch butterflies and bees. The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department has been proactively incorporating pollinator species into park landscapes. For more information about pollinator areas within City parks, contact Mark Canney, Park Planner, at 402-441-8248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.