Goleta Receives $3.9 Million in Monarch Habitat Funding

Goleta Receives $3.9 Million in Monarch Habitat Funding title=
Goleta Receives $3.9 Million in Monarch Habitat Funding
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Ellwood (Photo: Robert Bernstein)

Source: City of Goleta

On May 16, 2019, the Coastal Conservancy approved $3.9 million in funding (previously authorized for expenditure during adoption of the State budget) to the City of Goleta for implementation of the Ellwood Mesa Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan (MBHMP). As noted in the May issue of the Monarch Press, the MBHMP was approved by City Council on March 19, 2019. Growing concern over the drought-stressed and dying eucalyptus trees in the butterfly groves led to the finalization of the MBHMP. The MBHMP identifies how the City will preserve, restore, and enhance the monarch butterfly overwintering habitat. It also includes enhancement of other wildlife habitats, education and outreach, trail improvements, signage, monitoring, and research.

The funds administered by the Coastal Conservancy allow the City to begin implementing the MBHMP and help restore the ecosystem on the Ellwood Mesa. This will not only support the monarch butterfly population, but other vulnerable plant and animal species as well. Key components include:

  • Expedite the completion of the MBHMP Implementation Plan and necessary permitting.
  • Remove and replace dead trees to optimize butterfly habitat value and increase human safety along trails and observation sites.
  • Identify and reduce potential impacts to monarch butterfly habitat including pest infestations, trash and debris, and other threats that may arise over time.
  • Support implementation of Goleta’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan in the buffer zone between the open space and adjacent housing.
  • Design, construct, and install an interpretive signage program that is sensitive to the environment.
  • Improve and maintain public recreational features such as trails, trail markers, and benches.
  • Expand the docent program.

The City will begin work on the MBHMP implementation plan as soon as necessary permits are obtained, which is anticipated to be by September. Restoration work will continue incrementally over the next few years.

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Eggs Ackley Jun 13, 2019 07:27 AM
Goleta Receives $3.9 Million in Monarch Habitat Funding

A perfect example of how the best way to preserve rural lands, i.e. the Gaviota Coast, is through private ownership. $3.9million in taxpayer funds to "restore" a "grove" of invasive exotic trees that are experiencing a natural cycle. The "plan" is a complete miss and does next to nothing to protect, preserve, or meaningfully enhance habitat. Give the butterflies at least a five year break from human interference rather than inviting even more "nature lovers" to trample and degrade their habitat. Nature does a pretty good job on its own without misguided human interference.

biguglystick Jun 11, 2019 04:15 PM
Goleta Receives $3.9 Million in Monarch Habitat Funding

This is wonderful news! We have to start doing more and better for our environment and our wildlife! If we don't, our children and their children will suffer a world without these beautiful wonders we take for granted. HOORAY for this!

Luvaduck Jun 11, 2019 07:22 AM
Goleta Receives $3.9 Million in Monarch Habitat Funding

Monarch populations have declined by 90% in the last decade. They only eat milkweed. That prefers to grow in disturbed areas like roadsides or along railroad tracks. The most likely culprit in the monarch decline is a chemical found in Round-Up and other weed killers. Environmentalists are trying to have it banned in the US, but monarchs migrate thousands of miles and cross borders. Saving the grove won't bring back the dead.

a-1561572772 Jun 10, 2019 07:55 PM
Goleta Receives $3.9 Million in Monarch Habitat Funding

LUCKY 777. Eucalyptus are "famously" drought tolerant. If you keep in mind that the rule of thumb is to apply 15 gallons of water per inch of tree girth, per tree application, you get an idea of how massive a project that would have been to attempt to water those eucs. How deeply could the trees have been watered? In other words: no amount of trucked-in water would have sufficed and was it even necessary to begin with? Do those eucs really need supplemental watering? Plus . . . what would have been the water source?

a-1561572772 Jun 10, 2019 07:57 PM
Goleta Receives $3.9 Million in Monarch Habitat Funding

COATWATCH. Thanks for the laugh. They're not homeless, they're peripatetic. Little beauties. I hope they can recover from all the pesticides and come back to roost in Ellwood again.

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