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September 18, 2008
In Reply Refer To:
1115 (172) P
Information Bulletin No. 2008-117
To:                   All Field Officials
                        Attn: State Environmental Education Coordinators, State Botany Program
                        Leads, State Wildlife Program Leads
From:               Division Chief, Education, Interpretation, and Partnerships
Subject:           “MonarchLIVE” Distance Learning Adventure
Beginning on October 10, 2008, students from around the country and the world will be able to participate in MonarchLIVE, a year-long distance learning project focusing on the Monarch butterfly and the important role that monarchs and all pollinators play in our daily lives.
Through a series of programs available by satellite and the Internet, students will be able to track the migration of monarch butterflies from the United States and Canada to Mexico and back again.
The Monarch butterfly is one of the best known and most revered pollinating animals. The annual migration of millions of these butterflies is one of North America’s most spectacular natural events.  Although the butterfly is not in danger of extinction, its unique multigenerational migration spanning the continent is now recognized as an “endangered biological phenomenon” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Because Monarchs depend upon a wide range of habitats in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, conservation requires trilateral cooperation due to threats to the butterflies’ habitats throughout the migration flyway.  This cooperation is outlined in the North American Monarch Conservation Plan available on-line at http://www.cec.org/pubs_docs/documents/index.cfm?varlan=ENGLISH&ID=2300

One way that BLM and other federal agencies can begin to implement the Monarch plan is by participating in MonarchLIVE.  All Field Offices are encouraged to inform their local schools about this project by directing them to the MonarchLIVE web site at http://monarch.pwnet.org/. The web site contains the program schedule as well as promotional flyers in English and Spanish.  There are also links to a variety of educational activities that teachers can use in the classroom…and even more importantly, outdoors.  In addition to increasing understanding about monarch biology, life cycle, and ecology, the program aims to increase participation in citizen science programs and to get children outside planting butterfly and pollinator gardens.

As part of the MonarchLIVE initiative, and in conjunction with the North American Monarch Conservation Plan, federal agencies and partners will be presenting workshops on monitoring programs and developing a handbook to encourage development of monitoring projects.  In addition, Project Learning Tree, an international environmental education organization, will be offering special GreenWorks! grants to schools for planting butterfly and pollinator gardens. More information about these programs will also be available on the MonarchLIVE web site. 

MonarchLIVE was initiated by the U.S. Forest Service and Prince William Network.  Federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, as well as other partners, are joining this project with the goal of reaching the largest possible audience.  To ensure broad publicity for this effort, agency members of the Partners in Resource Education group have produced a program preview that is available on BLM’s Knowledge Resource Center web site: http://www.ntc.blm.gov/krc/uploads/250/Monarch.html
We encourage you to view this program to learn more about MonarchLIVE and how you and the schools and youth groups you work with can participate. By working with these young people to help them learn about Monarchs and by encouraging them to plant gardens for pollinators, BLM offices can meet two important goals—getting children outdoors and improving habitat for wildlife. 
For more information on MonarchLIVE, contact Kristy Liercke at Prince William Network (703-791-7359; lierckkx@pwcs.edu) or Betsy Wooster (202-452-7731; Elizabeth_wooster@blm.gov). For more information on the North American Monarch Conservation Plan, contact Carol Spurrier (202-452-7736; Carol_Spurrier@blm.gov).
Signed by:                                                                  Authenticated by:
Mary Tisdale                                                               Robert M. Williams
Division Chief                                                              Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Education, Interpretation, And Partnerships   

Last updated: 10-21-2009