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Choctaw Nation’s Proclamation For Monarchs

Choctaw Nation, City of Durant Plan Proclamation for Monarchs

DURANT – Choctaw Nation and City of Durant leaders plan to sign a joint proclamation on the environment.

Chief Gary Batton and Mayor Jerry Tomlinson will sign a pledge of action to help save the monarch butterfly. The proclamation signing is 10:00 am Tuesday (Jun 27) in Market Square, downtown Durant. The outdoor ceremony will be open to the public.

The monarch is an iconic North American species of butterfly. For generations, its migration and metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly has captured the imagination of millions of Americans. But, today its population is in decline.

Twenty years ago, more than one billion Eastern monarch butterflies migrated across North America to Mexico. In the winter of 2014, only 60 million made the trip – a loss of more than 90 percent in the past two decades. Studies show that at this rate in the next 20 years monarch butterflies will decline to the point of near extinction.

Chief Batton and Mayor Tomlinson join the ranks of mayors from San Antonio, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Indianapolis and other cities (198 in the past year) who have pledged their commitment to monarch recovery. Ensuring the success of monarch conservation there needs to be cooperation to protect, restore, and create monarch habitats all along the migration path. With this goal, the National Wildlife Federation created the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge to get local governments and communities involved.

Those signing on are committed to taking at least three actions in favor of monarch recovery, ranging from raising awareness to cutting back on insecticide use. By signing the pledge, Durant and the Choctaw Nation will have access to tools and technical assistance, and the National Wildlife Federation will recognize the city and tribe as leaders in this effort.

Landscaping and other tips, such as planting milkweed gardens (a favorite of the butterfly), will be made available. Schools, businesses, and individual families can help create spots that will benefit these, and other pollinators that need healthy habitats, as well.

The proclamation reads in part: “When the people of the Choctaw Nation and the Citizens of Durant, Oklahoma take a stance, the State and the Nation receives a strong message of the combined commitment for the environment and our land’s future. Therefore, we now commit to helping restore habitat for the monarch and encourage our members and citizens to do the same, so that these great butterflies will once again flourish across the continent.”

For additional information, contact Tracy Horst, Program Director for Choctaw Nation Natural Resources & Environmental Science, thorst@choctawnation.com or 580-775-4231; or Jacque Wilson, Durant Deputy City Manager of Operations, 580-931-6600, jwilson@durant.org. Also, visit the National Wildlife Federation online http://www.nwf.org/Garden-For-Wildlife/About/Native-Plants/Milkweed.aspx.