Teamwork Makes the Pollinator Dream Work

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Partnerships are at the core of PF/QF pollinator habitat efforts that also benefit pheasants and quail

Story by Drew Larsen
Photo by Anna Swerczek


If you grew up playing team sports, you probably heard at least one of the following expressions from your coach:

“There is no “I” in team.”

“Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships.” 

“Together we can achieve more.” 

And, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” 

These are sayings that I lived by throughout an adolescence participating in team sports. Little did I know that these sports clichés would be so applicable as an adult working in the conservation community. These expressions are now more relevant than ever when it comes to addressing the many habitat challenges associated with the monarch butterfly.  

Monarch butterfly populations are in trouble. According to the World Wildlife Fund Mexico, the 2019-20 overwintering population of eastern monarch butterflies decreased 53% from the previous year. This year’s eastern population represents approximately one-third of its historic size. In addition, the western population is now less than 1% of its historic population size, according to the Xerces Society.  To restore monarch butterfly populations to sustainable levels, biologists believe that we need to establish over 1 billion new milkweed stems throughout its migratory range.            

Establishing over 1 billion milkweed stems across the United States presents a significant challenge for the conservation community. But PF/QF will surpass that historic milestone this year. 

No one organization has the capacity to establish that amount of milkweed stems alone. It takes a great deal of coordination, and the creation of unique partnerships, to plant enough habitat that allows for the establishment of 1 billion milkweed stems.



Lucky for The Habitat Organization, we have no shortage of great partners who are stepping up to address this challenge to save the monarch butterfly and create more habitat for butterflies, bees … and upland gamebirds. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever proudly recognize our great partners who we work with to deliver quality pollinator conservation projects that also create habitat for songbirds od every color, whitetails, cottontails, garter snakes, toads … and oh yes pheasants and quail.  

National:
  • Bayer
  • Corteva
  • USFWS
  • Monarch Joint Venture 
  • Pollinator Partnership 
  • Cabela’s Outdoor Fund 

Arkansas:
  • NRCS
  • Arkansas Game and Fish Commission
  • Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission
  • USFWS

Iowa:    
  • REAP - IA Dept of Ag 
  • EQIP, CSP, RCPP-CSP - NRCS
  • CRP- Farm Service Agency
  • Pollinator Habitat Conservation Program - Trees Forever
  • Prairie Partners Program - Iowa DNR
  • Partners for Fish and Wildlife - USFWS Iowa

Kansas:
  • NRCS
  • Kansas Dept of Wildlife
  • Parks and Tourism
  • Westar Energy

Minnesota:    
  • Outdoor Heritage Fund
  • Clean Water Fund
  • Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund
  • Conservation Partners Legacy Program
  • North American Wetland Conservation Act
  • MN Pheasants Inc.  - Blue Earth County Chapter
  • Sauk River Watershed District
  • Heron Lake Watershed District
  • Duck Unlimited
  • MN Deer Hunters Association 
  • MN Department of Natural Resources
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Prairie Pothole Joint Venture
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • MN Prairie Chicken Society
  • MN Sharp-tailed Grouse Society
  • Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club
  • Pioneer Heritage Conservation Trust
  • National Wild Turkey Federation
  • Board of Water and Soil Resources
  • Friends of Wetland Management Districts
  • Fox Lake Conservation Club
  • University of Minnesota
  • Monarch Joint Venture
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Minnesota Honey Producers Association
  • Minnesota Rural Water Association
  • Worthington Public Utilities Commission
  • Okabena-Ocheda Watershed District

Montana:
  • Xerces Society (workshops)
  • Montana State University (workshops, training, monitoring)
  • The Nature Conservancy (training, monitoring)
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service (training, monitoring)
  • Yale University (training monitoring)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (projects, workshops, training)
  • World Wildlife Fund (workshops)
  • Vilicus Farms (workshops, monitoring)
  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Montana (workshops, projects)

Nebraska:
  • Nebraska Environmental Trust
  • USDA (NRCS and FSA)
  • Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

North Dakota:
  • Soil Health and Habitat Program - PF / Purina
  • North Dakota Game and Fish Department
  • North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality
  • Scheels
  • ND Pheasants Forever - Knife River Chapter
  • ND Pheasants Forever - Peaceful Valley Chapter
  • ND Pheasants Forever - Goose Lake
  • ND Pheasants Forever - Southwestern Area
  • USDA - NRCS
  • North Dakota Natural Resources Trust
  • USFWS - Partners Program

Ohio:
  • Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Ohio Division of Wildlife
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife
  • Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
  • Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts

South Dakota:
  • South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks
  • South Dakota Department of Agriculture
  • South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts
  • South Dakota Soil Health Coalition
  • South Dakota Grassland Coalition
  • South Dakota State University Extension 
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • East Dakota Water Development District
  • South Dakota Department of Natural Resources
  • South Dakota Corn Growers
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service - Partners Program
  • USDA-NRCS
  • USDA-FSA
  • South Dakota Second Century Habitat Fund
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • Izaak Walton League of America
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • Bee and Butterfly Fund

Texas:
  • NRCS
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture
  • Gulf Coast Joint Venture
  • Texans by Nature

Wisconsin:    
  • Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
  • Outagamie County LCD
  • NES Ecological Services
  • Xerces Society
  • Sand County Foundation
  • The Prairie Enthusiasts
  • USDA - NRCS
  • USDA-FSA
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Pioneer Heritage Conservation Trust
  • USFWS
  • Monarch Joint Venture
  • Dept Ag Trade & Consumer Protection
  • Trout Unlimited 
  • St. Croix Bee Keepers Association 
  • St. Croix County 
  • Project Wingspan
  • Partners for Fish and Wildlife - USFWS WI

Drew Larsen is the Director of Education & Outreach with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.