Photo: Land Trust.

Western Monarch Summit Highlights

Feb 10, 2020 by Jana Hemphill
The Western Monarch Summit was a great success! Find out some of the highlights from the conference.

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The Land Trust’s stewardship director, Amanda Egertson, traveled to southern California in January to take part in the Western Monarch Summit. This gathering brought together hundreds of scientists, researchers, and monarch enthusiasts.

Amanda is on the board of the Western Monarch Advocates, who hosted the summit. Their mission is to "encourage and facilitate communication and interaction of groups and individuals committed to restoring the Western Monarch butterfly population..."

While at the summit, Amanda presented on Western monarchs in Central Oregon. She was also interviewed by local TV news and newspapers. Here are three of Amanda's highlights from the conference:

  1. Through the Western Monarch Summit, the Deschutes Land Trust has crossed state lines and we have extended our conservation efforts in a meaningful way. This opportunity to engage in an international dialogue while also creating change at a local level is exciting.
  2. The summit highlighted the importance of native, pollinator-friendly plants (that have not been sprayed with chemicals) for monarchs. This is especially significant because it means that everyone can participate in monarch conservation efforts in a meaningful way.
  3. Nearly every presentation at the summit emphasized the value of community science. These volunteers and monarch enthusiasts are critical to monarch counts, tagging research, and data collection.

Lucy and Eli Egertson were presented the Instar Award.
Lucy and Eli Egertson were presented the Instar Award.
During the summit, the Instar Award was presented to emerging leaders in the field of monarch conservation (instar refers to the growth stages of caterpillars and is a nod to future generations that will ultimately take the lead). This year’s Instar Award was given to Lucy (13) and Eli (11) Egertson, Amanda’s children, for their art and community science efforts. Many of you may know Lucy and Eli from our monarch release at Hollinshead Park last summer, through our social media posts when they helped responsibly rear monarchs, or from various native milkweed planting parties. You also might have some of Lucy’s artwork--if you’ve ever received a milkweed seed packet, Monarch sticker, or temporary tattoo from the Land Trust!

Amanda says, “In addition to being a super proud mama with a few tears in her eyes, I thought it was really wonderful to close out the 2 1/2 day conference with a nod to the future generation. Despite the scary news of overwintering population numbers and the challenging road ahead, I think we all departed with wings fluttering in our hearts because of the hopefulness that engaged and empowered kids bring.”

Congrats to Lucy and Eli for their very well-deserved recognition!