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Senator Amy Klobuchar, with her mother, Rose; daughter, Abigail; and a monarch.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, with her mother, Rose; daughter, Abigail; and a monarch.

Monarch Conservation
Starts with Mom For Senator

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota is one of the leading voices for monarch conservation in Congress. She wrote this column for the spring issue of Fish & Wildlife News.

The monarch butterfly is one of America’s most iconic species, but it might not be around for future generations to enjoy if we do not come together to protect it.

With the monarch butterfly population having decreased an estimated 90 percent since the 1990s, and the milkweed plant that monarch caterpillars depend upon for food suffering similar declines, now is the time for action.

I recently joined Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine in calling on the Departments of Interior, Transportation and Agriculture to build on and strengthen public-private partnerships to preserve the monarch butterfly.

The partnership among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Wildlife Federation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation shows that both public agencies and private organizations are taking the threat against monarch butterflies seriously and are working together to reverse the trend.

I’m glad that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already been working with public and private partners on conservation efforts in Minnesota, including restoring and enhancing more than 6,500 acres of monarch habitat on private land through the voluntary Partners for Fish and Wildlife program, hosting monarch outreach and educational events, and collaborating with the Monarch Joint Venture and Monarch Lab at the University of Minnesota.

The good news is that people like you care about this issue. And from planting milkweed in schoolyards to raising their own monarchs to release in time for migration, people across the country are taking action now to protect these butterflies.

To me, saving the monarch is important not just because they’re beautiful or because they’re an important species for pollination, but because they remind me of my mom.

My mom taught second grade until she was 70 years old. I still run into people who remember her unit on the monarch butterfly. She would dress up as a monarch in all orange and black with wings and hold a sign that said, “Mexico or bust.”

So whenever I see monarch butterflies, I think of my mom and how she would want us to protect the monarch for future students to enjoy. For her and all the generations to come, we must do everything we can to ensure that monarch butterflies remain a vital part of our natural world.

By Amy Klobuchar
U.S. Senator

Like this article? It is featured in the Service's quarterly magazine Fish & Wildlife News.

Last updated: June 4, 2015