Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Sen. Klobuchar works to save monarch butterflies: ‘My mother would want me to do this’

Klobuchar is working to help a partnership as it plans to grow milkweed in the migration corridor between Minnesota and Texas.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar is working to save monarch butterflies by helping a new partnership that is planting milkweed in the migration corridor between Minnesota and Texas.

The monarchs have been fast disappearing, with nearly 1 billion gone since 1990, says a Washington Post story about the partnership.

The monarchs survive on milkweed, much of which has been lost to weedkillers. So the national Fish and Wildlife Service is working with two private conservation groups, the National Wildlife Federation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, “to basically grow milkweed like crazy in the hopes of saving the monarchs,” the story said.

Klobuchar is helping get private groups and public entities involved in the milkweed marathon. At an event announcing the partnership, she said the effort was close to her heart, according to the WaPo story:

Article continues after advertisement

Her mother, a second-grade teacher, was wild about monarch butterflies, Klobuchar said, so much so that she dressed as one each year to call attention to their return flight home. Her mother carried a sign, Klobuchar said, “Mexico or bust.”

“This is something that means a lot to my family,” the senator said. “My mother would want me to do this.”

The Science Museum of Minnesota is running a monarch film, “The Flight of the Butterflies,” in its Omnitheater.

Under the new program, Fish and Wildlife will provide $2 million for on-the-ground conservation projects. The federation will help raise awareness about the need for milkweed, provide seeds to anyone willing to plant it and to plant the seeds in open space — roadsides, parks, forests and patio flower boxes, to name a few places. Another $1.2 million will go to the foundation as seed money to generate a larger fundraising match from private organizations, the story said.