The South-Central Monarch Symposium held May 31-June 1 in Austin, and convened by Texan by Nature was an extremely well-organized event and a resounding success. Bill Bartush presented on “A Shared Vision for Monarch Habitat Landscape-scale Habitat and Holistic Planning” by the GCP LCC and partners, to benefit many southern Great Plains species and their habitat, including “monarchs, grasslands, and cities!” Jim Giocomo, GCP LCC Steering Committee Chair and Director of the Oaks & Prairies Joint Venture made the connection for the audience between Monarchs and “Grassland-dependent Species including Pollinators and Migratory Birds.” With three representatives from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation in attendance as well as the Sand County Foundation, there are high hopes leaving the meeting that participants will move forward with establishment of a Midwest/Great Plains Planning Consortium to benefit Monarchs and grasslands of the region. Participants also saw much value and many opportunities for increasing citizen science relative to Monarch conservation.
Recorded presentations from the symposium have been posted online. You may access the presentations via the TxNwebsite where the videos are organized by the agenda or on the Texan by Nature youtube channel.
Texan by Nature is a nonprofit organization founded by Laura Bush with a mission to “Spur Texan-led conservation that produces tangible benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources.” In June, current director Erin O’Neil Franz stepped down and our own Matt Wagner, former GCP LCC Chair, is serving as interim director of operations while a new executive director is confirmed by the Texan by Nature Board of Directors.