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The Monarch Joint Venture and Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group Host National Monarch Meeting

Mar 24, 2023

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  • MJV Partnership News

In early March, more than 170 stakeholders from over 105 organizations came together at the Monarch Conservation Meeting, co-hosted by the Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) and Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group (ROWHWG). Partners convened from 35 states to discuss current research, programs, and projects. Partners also had the chance to share resources and discuss ways to collaborate across sectors for the betterment of monarchs and other pollinators.

Leaders of the two groups, Wendy Caldwell and Iris Caldwell (coined the “Caldwell Coalition”), brought their networks together to embrace the meeting’s theme of All Hands on Deck for monarch and pollinator conservation. “As partners, we accomplish more when we work together. It was incredible to experience the power of interaction as our groups learned from one another, discussed important topics, and launched new collaborations,” says Wendy Caldwell, MJV Executive Director.

In the busy two-and-a-half-day meeting, partners learned from over 35 presentations on the latest in monarch conservation science, initiatives, and on-the-ground projects. They heard briefings on high-level agency updates and case studies on how different disciplines approach conservation in unique ways that are all working towards a common goal.

The meeting also split into ten breakout sessions to discuss tools, updates, and best practices and connect stakeholders by sector and geography to strengthen dialogue and collaboration.

“This was the first time since the COVID pandemic that each of our networks were able to convene in person, and it was amazing to be in the same room together. The face-to-face connections, the beautiful venue at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, and the enthusiasm to celebrate each other’s conservation achievements made for a memorable and valuable experience,” said Iris Caldwell, lead of the ROWHWG and Program Manager at the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Partners left the meeting inspired by the breadth and depth of the described conservation efforts and motivated by the commitment and energy of those in attendance. Together, we move forward to increase the scale of conservation actions across the landscape that produce multiple benefits for monarchs and broader conservation concerns.