(UPSOUND) "This is yellow, but I don't think it's an egg. No."
PAM MOE IS LOOKING FOR SIGNS OF MONARCHS FOR THE MONARCH LARVAE MONITORING PROJECT.
SOUNDBITE (English) Pam Moe, volunteer University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. "I remember growing up and seeing them everywhere and you don't see them everywhere anymore so it makes me feel good to do this."
MONARCHS' NUMBERS HAVE FALLEN BY 90% OVER THE PAST TWO DECADES, AS FARMING AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT ERADICATE THE MILKWEED MONARCHS FEED ON AND LAYS EGGS UPON. FEDERAL OFFICIALS ARE DUE TO DECIDE BY DECEMBER 2020 WHETHER TO LIST THE MONARCHS UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT.
SOUNDBITE (English), Tierra Curry, senior scientist, Center for Biological Diversity. "So historically, when there was lots of prairie and open spaces in the United States, there would have been a billion monarch butterflies, or billions of monarchs, and now we've lost a lot of prairie habitat and wetland habitat to development, insecticides and pesticides are used widely and so this once-common species that is very familiar has declined by 99% in the west and by 80% in the east."
BUT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAS FINALIZED CHANGES TO ENFORCEMENT OF THE LANDMARK ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, INCLUDING ALLOWING FEDERAL AUTHORITIES FOR THE FIRST TIME TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE ECONOMIC COST OF PROTECTING A PARTICULAR SPECIES.
SOYBEAN AND CORN FARMER NANCY KAVAZANJIAN (kav-AH'-zan-jen) INITIALLY LIKES THE IDEA OF CONSIDERING ECONOMICS WHEN LISTING A SPECIES.
SOUNDBITE (English) Nancy Kavazanjian, Wisconsin farmer. "Economics is certainly important to farmers. You know if we're going to be sustainable we have to at least be able to pay the bills."
BUT SHE ALSO CARES DEEPLY ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT, INSTALLING SOLAR PANELS AND CREATING AREAS FOR FLOWERS TO BENEFIT BEES AND BUTTERFLIES.
SOUNDBITE Nancy Kavazanjian, Wisconsin farmer. "The devil is in the details isn't it: The wording and the enforcement and you know I mean again if invasive species meets endangered species then what happens?"
OVER AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON ARBORETUM, KAREN OBERHAUSER IS AFRAID CHANGES MIGHT MEAN TROUBLE FOR THE BELOVED BUTTERFLY.
SOUNDBITE (English) Karen Oberhauser, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum. "So if the process became more complicated and took longer and if it became more difficult to list the species I would worry that we would lose the ability of this really important piece of environmental legislation to be a tool for habitat and species conservation."
THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR CONTENDS THE OVERHAUL WOULD INCREASE TRANSPARENCY BY HIGHLIGHTING POSSIBLE ECONOMIC COSTS, REDUCE REGULATORY BURDENS, AND LET FEDERAL AUTHORITIES FOCUS ON THE MOST URGENT CASES.
Solar power , Alternative and sustainable energy , Energy and the environment , Environment , Environment and nature , Biodiversity , Wildlife , Flowers , Plants , Endangered Species Act of 1973 , Endangered and extinct species , Endangered and extinct species , Environmental concerns , Endangered Species Act of 1973 , Environmental laws and regulations , Government regulations , Government and politics , Environmental laws and regulations , Conservation laws and regulations , Conservation laws and regulations , Environmental conservation and preservation , Soybean farming , Grain farming , Crop farming , Agriculture , Business , Butterflies , Insects , Animals
University of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin Madison
Madison , Wisconsin , United States , North America , Milwaukee , Portland , Oregon , Beaver Dam