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U.S. Forest Service

Celebrating Wildflowers News 2015

October 2015

Working Trees for Pollinators

Posted October 28, 2015

Publication cover.

Today, farms in the United States are larger and have less adjacent habitat to support bees. Yet, the need for pollinators in agricultural landscapes has never been greater. The latest Working Trees brochure of the National Agroforestry Center is online.

September 2015

You Can Help Save the Monarch Butterfly!

Posted September 9, 2015

Monarch Butterfly Migration Map

Every backyard can become an oasis for monarchs and other pollinators, even in cities. Schools, youth and community groups, businesses, and state and local governments can engage in planting native milkweed and protecting monarch habitat along roadsides, rights of way, and other public and private lands.

Report your sightings!

Also, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service "Save the Monarch Butterfly" web page…

August 2015

Propagating Native Milkweeds for Restoring Monarch Butterfly Habitat

Posted August 31, 2015

International Plant Propagator's Society Combined Proceedings, Volume 64, 2014 cover.

The number of monarch butterflies is rapidly declining. Milkweeds, which are the sole food source for monarch caterpillars, have also experienced a decline throughout the breeding range of this butterfly. Milkweeds can be grown from seeds or vegetatively from root cuttings or rhizomes. The International Plant Propagator's Society published this article in their Combined Proceedings, Volume 64, 2014.

Read the article about propagating milkweeds for restoring monarch butterfly habitat (PDF, 324 KB)…

Interior Department Releases National Seed Strategy for Landscape Scale Rehabilitation and Restoration

Posted August 18, 2015

National Seed Strategy cover.

The Department of the Interior announced the release of a National Seed Strategy for rehabilitation and restoration to help foster resilient and healthy landscapes.

The Strategy, developed in partnership with the Plant Conservation Alliance and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, guides ecological restoration across major landscapes, especially for those lands damaged by rangeland fires, invasive species, severe storms, and drought. The Strategy emphasizes importance of planting appropriate seeds to help grow plant life and pollinator habitat, which are critical natural defenses against climate change.

Monarch Institute Trains Habitat Stewards who will Share their Knowledge with Future Generations

Posted August 18, 2015

Two women looking at in insect in a container in the forest. Workshop attendees learning first-hand how to perform outdoor science experiments (Forest Service photo).

Recently, Urban Connections collaborated with Forest Service International Programs, University of Minnesota Monarch Lab, and the Urban Ecology Center to host the “North American Monarch Institute.” Experts taught participants how to create schoolyard habitats for monarch butterflies, how to perform outdoor science experiments in the habitat, and build a class of future stewards.

Read more about the Monarch Institute (PDF, 311 KB)…

July 2015

National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

Posted July 16, 2015

National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators cover.

On May 19, 2015, the Secreatary of the Department of Agriculture and the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on the behalf of the Pollinator Health Task Force, transmitted the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators (Strategy). Developed through a collaborative effort across the Executive Branch, this Strategy outlines a comprehensive approach to tackling and reducing the impact of multiple stressors on pollinator health, including pests and pathogens, reduced habitat, lack of nutritional resources, and exposure to pesticides.

Read more about Pollinator-Friendly Best Management Practices for Federal Lands…

June 2015

National Pollinator Garden Network Launches Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Posted June 4, 2015

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge logo.

In an unprecedented collaboration, dozens of conservation and gardening organizations joined together today to form the National Pollinator Garden Network and launch a new nationwide campaign, the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. Designed to accelerate growing efforts across America, the Network is launching the Challenge in support of President Barack Obama’s call to action to reverse the decline of pollinating insects, such as honey bees and native bees, as well as monarch butterflies.

Read the National Pollinator Garden Network news release about the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge launch…

Gardening and Landscaping Practices for Nesting Native Bees

Posted June 2, 2015

Gardening and Landscaping Practices for Nesting Native Bees cover.

Urbanization takes its toll on native bees, but many species can persist with a little help from gardeners and landscapers. Like birds, bees have two primary needs in life: Food (for a bee, pollen and nectar) to feed themselves and their offspring, and a suitable place to nest. The Utah State University Extension and Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory has published a fact sheet regarding practices property owners may use to favor nesting native bees.

See Gardening and Landscaping Practices for Nesting Native Bees (PDF)…

Also, see Gardening for Native Bees in Utah and Beyond (PDF)…

May 2015

Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden Using Native Plants

Posted May 4, 2015

Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden Using Native Plants cover.

Many of us enjoy the beauty of flowers in our backyard and community gardens. Growing native plants adds important habitat for hummingbirds and otherwildlife—especially pollinators. Even small backyard gardens can make a difference. Gardening connects us to nature and helps us better understand how nature works. This guide will help you create a hummingbird friendly garden.

Read Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden Using Native Plants (PDF, 3.5 MB)…

April 2015

The Big Search for Tiny Ferns

Posted April 22, 2015

Hymenophyllum wrightii. Hymenophyllum wrightii gametophytes growing in a tangled clump on rotting wood. Photo by Aaron Duffy.

For many years, Forest Service botanists have been interested in finding an elusive plant called Wright’s filmy fern (Hymenophyllum wrightii) in the Alaska Region. The fern was designated by the Regional Forester as an Alaska Region Sensitive Species in 1994 because of its apparent rarity. However, interest in the plant began several decades earlier.

Read more about the big search for tiny ferns on the USDA Blog…

Native Pollinators and Agriculture in Canada

Posted April 22, 2015

Native Pollinators and Agriculture in Canada cover.

We live in an inter-connected and inter-dependent world. A seed planted into soil, watered by rain and last winter’s snow and warmed by sunshine grows into a plant that produces many more seeds that are processed and baked into bread. This booklet tells the story of one of these threads, a surprisingly important one—pollinators and their connection to agriculture.

Read Native Pollinators and Agriculture in Canada (PDF)…

Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, U.S. Forest Service Sponsor Meeting to Improve Communication

Posted April 22, 2015

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma and the U.S. Forest Service cosponsored a meeting March 30 to April 2, 2015, with a focus on improving communication between federally recognized tribal governments and federal agencies. The 14th annual To-Bridge-A-Gap meeting held at the Indigo Sky Hotel, in Wyandotte, Okla., enabled attendees to discuss and learn about improving consultations with Indian Tribes on a variety of cultural and natural resource management issues.

A presentation on the Zaagkii Project by Dr. Scott Herron, professor Biology Education Program Coordinator; Jan Shultz, Forest Service Region 9 Regional Botanist; and Evelyn Ravindran, Hatchery and Nursery Manager for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, provided an example of how partnerships with the Forest Service benefits the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community who are located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Read the Ouachita, Ozark and St. Francis National Forests newsletter (PDF)…

Learn How You Can Use Agroforestry to Help Pollinators

Posted April 14, 2015

Cover of issue.

The latest issue of the Inside Agroforestry Newsletter has hit the streets on the National Agroforestry Center website. This issue of Agroforestry Center's Inside Agroforestry highlights ways that agroforestry has supported pollinator conservation and management as well as efforts that have also served to educate the public.

March 2015

Conservation and Management of Monarch Butterflies: A Strategic Framework

Posted March 18, 2015

Conservation and Management of Monarch Butterflies cover.

The Forest Service issues this timely and critically needed document, Conservation and Management of Monarch Butterflies: A Strategic Framework (PDF, 8.8 MB). This framework will guide the Forest Service to effectively and efficiently use available resources and engage public and private partnerships in taking action for the conservation of the monarch butterfly.

Monarch Butterflies Brochures

Posted March 18, 2015

Monarchs and Milkweeds. Monarch butterfly adult and larvae.

During spring and summer, monarchs breed throughout the U.S. and southern Canada. In the fall, adults of an eastern population migrate to Mexico, flying up to 3,000 miles. The following spring, these butteries leave their overwintering sites and fly northward to lay their eggs on milkweeds and a few other plants in the dogbane family. In Florida, some non-migratory individuals remain and breed year-round.

January 2015

Lemhi penstemon monitoring at Big Hole National Battlefield, Montana

Posted January 6, 2015

Lemhi penstemon on the Big Hole National Battlefield.

Steve Shelly, Forest Service Northern Region Botanist, has helped National Park Service monitoring crews at the Big Hole National Battlefield a number of times with their monitoring protocols. Steve worked with the Park Service last summer at the Big Hole National Battlefield to develop a video about the rare endemic Lemhi penstemon at the Big Hole National Battlefield, and its relationship with a wasp specialized in collecting pollen from the plant.

View the video on YouTube…