Large scale restoration will be required to offset annual monarch breeding and migratory habitat losses. Restoration priorities, given that funds are limited, should involve regions that have a high probability of producing large numbers of monarchs. Eastern Oklahoma is such a region: a prime area for the production of first generation monarchs and a corridor for monarchs moving north out of Texas. This project has received additional funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. For an update on the work of the Tribal Environmental Alliance for Monarchs from 2015-2017, please see this presentation by Andrew Gourd, Land Use Coordinator, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
Monarch Watch is partnering with Native tribes in Oklahoma to restore milkweeds to large acreages in the eastern part of the state. The project will establish the capacity and infrastructure required for milkweed and native flowering plants restoration by training Native youth to produce plugs of milkweeds and native nectar sources, harvest seeds, create demonstration sites and seed production plots. Ongoing educational materials will be produced to educate future students, tribes and the general gardening community about monarch conservation. Reverence for the land is part of the Native culture and a Native-led habitat restoration program is likely to gain strong tribal support state-wide.
The picture below shows a young Choctaw woman who is working on the project by setting up germination trays for native forbs at their hoop house.