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Make Way for Monarchs Website Retires to go Back into its Cocoon

Gary Paul Nabhan

Make Way for Monarchs website retires to go back into its cocoon as archives; thanks for helping us spread the word! In February 2014, Ina Warren and I launch the Make Way for Monarchs website in the face of the worst crisis that butterfly species had ever experienced.

The idea came out of a discussion I had with Steve Hopp and Barbara Kingsolver at the home in Virginia, where they suggested we recruit the voices of nature writers, artists, farmers, and scientists to do a full court press.

On February 14, a front-page article in New York Times – “North American leaders urged to restore monarch butterfly habitat” mentioned the new website as a go-to-place for monarch and milkweed news, thanks to encouragement by Homero and Betty Aridjis and (the late) Lincoln Brower.

The website (named by Sara St. Antione) received over a million visitations that month alone, and more when I published an op-ed in LA times the next month and went on Living on Earth radio to take about Rachel Carson’s warning of silent springs and fruitless falls.  

Just this last month, Wayne Thogmartin received on behalf of all of us in the Monarch Conservation Science Partnership, the 2020 Department of the Interior Natural Resource Conservation Achievement Award, for producing concrete results and an overarching plan for monarch and milkweed recovery.

While our website has still received about four million hits a year–300,000 in just the most recent month’s count– we are shifting gears and wish to close down the website (with contents being archived.

Among the many successes were the Interfaith Day of Prayer for Monarchs on Rachel Carson’s birthday, Ina’s great compendium on monarch folklore science and story, and the first ever monograph on milkweed species of the Southwest for the most diverse region of milkwood hosts for monarchs.

So many of you helped us spread the word, but my deepest thanks to Tim and Ina for keeping it going after my traumatic brain injuries limited my time on internet. Blessings to all of you.

Gary Paul Nabhan

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