Dream Foundation celebrates Winston Cain’s life with a final NASCAR Race
El Dorado Hills, California (MPG) - Despite being diagnosed with ALS, which has left him paralyzed from the neck down apart from the use of one arm and hand, 71-year-old El Dorado Hills resident, Winston Cain, hasn’t stopped dreaming.
Winston has always loved NASCAR and car racing, having attended many races throughout his life. Now bed bound, Winston watches NASCAR intently every Sunday. He loves to imagine himself as the announcer, “Start your engines!” and dreams of attending one final race with his family.
With support from Autoclub Speedway and Homewood Suites, Dream Foundation fulfilled Winston’s final Dream. This past month, Winston, his wife, daughter, and son-in-law enjoyed VIP treatment and a special meet and greet with his favorite driver, Chase Elliot at the Fontana NASCAR race of March 16th. The foundation will also provide accommodations, a wheelchair accessible van rental and extra travel funds for the trip.
Glory Ariche from Genentech, one of Dream Foundation’s Mission Partners, served “Dream Host” at the intimate gathering of Thursday, March 14th delivering everything that Winston needed for his Dream journey. Also in attendance were Snowline Hospice’s Rene Hamlin, Jeremy Lansing, and Janice Curtin who referred Winston to the organization’s dream-granting program. Their commitment to Winston was instrumental in bringing his final Dream to life.
Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally-ill adults, fulfills final Dreams that provide inspiration, comfort and closure at the end of life. With the support of a nationwide network of volunteers, hospices, health care organizations and committed donors, Dream Foundation has given life to more than 30,000 final Dreams over the last twenty-five years.
The Foundation is proud to maintain Charity Navigator’s four-star rating—its highest—for sound fiscal management, ensuring its donors and partners that their investment will be used wisely. Dream Foundation receives no state or federal funding—we rely solely on private donations. To support our mission please visit: DreamFoundation.org/donate.
Snowline Hospice serves the Sacramento, El Dorado, and Placer Counties, delivering end of life care and support to patients and their families. Since 1979, Snowline has been dedicated to meeting the unique physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those who are nearing the end of life's journey. Our goal is to enhance living, comfort the dying and support the grieving with compassion and dignity.
Proceeds Fund Free Summer Program for Local At-Risk Youth
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Playmakers Organization is a local non-profit that coaches character through leadership and provides free programs to underprivileged and at-risk youth. The Playmakers Organization is hosting their 10th annual fundraising dinner on Saturday, April 27 at Divine Savior Church, 9079 Greenback Lane in Orangevale.
Playmakers founder Greg Roeszler (known as Coach Roz) said the goal of the organization is “to serve extremely at-risk kids and support them in the development of character, academics, sports and recreation — and to create a bond that the kids and their families can depend on.”
Roeszler said the upcoming fundraiser dinner “is a very inspirational evening; it’s very kid-driven.” Roeszler explained that kids who are involved in the Playmakers program speak at the event and “they will bring you to happy tears.” The dinner is an opportunity for the kids “to tell their story.”
The event will honor Playmakers sponsor Harrison Phillips of the Buffalo Bills and will celebrate Playmakers civic group participants — Rotary, Optimists, and Lions. Playmakers will also be welcoming Stanford defensive linemen Michael Williams and Joe Swahn as honored guests. The keynote speaker will be Phil Oates, part-owner of the Sacramento Kings.
Players from the Rio Americano and El Camino football teams will be serving together at the dinner, helping to set up the event and serve food throughout the evening. Their service is part of an effort to reconcile the teams after a brawl last season that forced them to forfeit the final game.
Food will be provided by Chicago Fire, which will be serving pizza, wings, and salads. The event includes a live auction, DJ, and no-host bar.
Proceeds from the event will fund the Playmakers Summer Academy, an all-day program that is completely free for families that can’t afford childcare during the summer months.
Tickets are $40 and are available for purchase at www.theplaymakers.org/tickets.
DMV Office serves members of the Legislature
SACRAMENTO, CA - Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin) introduced Assembly Bill 862 today that would prohibit the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from operating a secret DMV field office that only serves a select group of individuals in state government, including Members of the Legislature and their staff.
“At a time when the DMV is failing to adequately serve Californians, it is unconscionable that lawmakers tasked with keeping the department accountable do not have to wait in the same lines as the people they represent,” Kiley said. “We’ll see if there’s more interest in fixing the DMV once all California Legislators are required to endure the same experience as their constituents.”
Multiple news reports and audits in recent months have highlighted the DMV’s deficiencies, including:
Over 6-8 hours wait times in many locations; Mishandling of 23,000 voter registrations since passage of Motor Voter law; Incorrectly registering over 1,500 ineligible voters, including non-citizens; Preventing over 500 eligible voters from registering due to failure to submit paperwork on time; Employee sleeping on the job over 2,000 hours; Dozens of technology outages disabling operations for hours at a time; Failing to comply with federal law regarding Real ID identity verification; Resignation of DMV director responsible for mismanagement.
Most recently, an audit by the Department of Finance uncovered a number of concerning findings at the DMV including an outdated organizational structure, poor performing IT systems, and a failure to properly train employees to meet the needs of customers.
Assemblyman Kevin Kiley represents the 6th Assembly District, which includes the Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado County communities of Cameron Park, El Dorado Hills, Fair Oaks, Folsom, Granite Bay, Lincoln, Loomis, Orangevale, Penryn, Rocklin, Roseville, and Sheridan.
Had Expressly Stated He Wouldn't Interfere with Doctor-Patient Relationship
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - State Senator Richard Pan, the author of SB 277, a law that requires kindergartners to get twenty-seven different doses of medication and fifteen different shots or forego a public education, has introduced SB 276, a bill that would require government permission for a doctor to opine that certain vaccines could harm a patient. This is an unprecedented and dangerous intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship, likely violates doctor's free-speech rights, and contradicts Pan's own public promises from just a few years ago.
Pan has claimed there is a problem with “medical exemptions” – i.e., official opinions by a doctor that if a child is vaccinated, that child could suffer harm. Medical exemptions are extremely rare, and doctors grant them only if a child or a family member suffers from things like a debilitating disease (such as leukemia), or if a child or a family member had a well-documented negative reaction to a vaccine or one of its ingredients. Just 0.7% of students obtain such an exemption, up from 0.2% before the passage of SB 277, a change that is not statistically significant. The total number of children exempt from the state’s vaccine requirements (i.e., including those 1.1% exempt due to disabilities) has actually dropped since the passage of SB 277, going from 2.6% to 1.9%, indicating that Pan’s plan is a solution in search of a problem.
Pan's legislation would require doctors to get permission from a government department -- the state Department of Public Health, before issuing an opinion for a patient on this issue. Such interference in the doctor-patient relationship is unprecedented, and the only analogous laws have been in state's requiring state approval of abortions -- something that has been universally deemed improper.
Pan’s planned attempt to crack down on doctors would almost certainly get in the way of a doctor making an evaluation based on empirical, scientific evidence. “Imagine being the parents of a child who the federal government concluded was injured because of a condition that made them susceptible to vaccines, and then your family doctor tells you she is too terrified to exempt your younger child from those same vaccines, because the thought police might take her license,” said Christina Hildebrand, President and Founder of A Voice for Choice Advocacy, a non-profit that advocates for medical freedom. “I can’t imagine what good would come from the government regulating a doctor’s free will to diagnose as he sees fit – it starts to resemble regulation of free speech,” Hildebrand concluded.
Pan, a politician representing the Sacramento region, is a regular beneficiary of campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, averaging just shy of $100,000 from it every legislative session. He is the top recipient of such funds in the state legislature, and the pharmaceutical industry, in turn, is his largest contributor.
“Any legislation or action on behalf of drugmakers that interferes with a doctor’s individual judgment will be hotly contested,” said Hildebrand. “We cannot let government determine what is in the best interests of any individual, overriding the doctor-patient relationship. Every doctor and patient in the state should be alarmed if such action is brought forward. If this can be done with vaccinations, what medical treatment will be next? Patients need to be able to trust their doctors and not worry that they are being pressured or worried that their honest, scientifically based medical judgement will be overruled by a legislatively appointed official who has never met them.”
For more information see: WWW.AVOICEFORCHOICEADVOCACY.ORG
Available for Free Tours April 19-22
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - As part of a series of special events, activities and exhibits designed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation proudly invite the community to Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car that will be on display Friday, April 19 through Monday, April 22, 2019.
Free public tours will be available each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the visually-exciting rail car on display at Old Sacramento State Historic Park.
The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car is a new, multi-media walk-through exhibition that provides a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading. Through sound, images and interactive technology, visitors will see how Union Pacific is building America in their communities and throughout the world. The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car is part of Union Pacific's historic Heritage passenger rail car fleet going on a multi-stop tour that begins in Sacramento followed by a stop in Roseville before moving on to Sparks, Nevada and Ogden, Utah.
After entering the converted baggage car, guests will first learn about the investment, hard work and knowledge that went into building the Transcontinental Railroad. Moving forward along one wall they'll learn about the evolution of the locomotive, beginning with the world-famous UP No. 119 and leading to the modern-day diesel powerhouses. On the opposite wall, rail fans will trace how fresh apples are delivered from California and Washington to New York and understand every aspect of rail operations and innovation along the way. Next, exciting interactive technology will show how Union Pacific is using lasers, cameras and other detection devices to accurately inspect moving rail cars and railroad track. Guests will even be able to test their skills to see how they measure up as rail car inspectors. Before exiting, visitors will be able to communicate how they connect to the railroad using high-tech thermal reactive tiles. A final display celebrates the history of Union Pacific's Passenger Heritage Fleet through vintage photos.
For more information about the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car including stops and tour hours, please visit https://www.up.com/heritage/experience-up/index.htm
For more details and updated information about events, activities and exhibits presented by the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation, please visit www.Railroad150.org; for more information about the Museum or Foundation visit www.californiarailroad.museum; and for more information about Waterfront Days happening over Memorial Day Weekend, please visit www.oldsacramento.com
The mission of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation (CSRMF) is to generate revenue and awareness on behalf of its destinations, while supporting the preservation, interpretation and promotion of our railroad heritage. The Foundation provides funding for ongoing support of numerous programs, both at the museum's Old Sacramento location and at the historic park in Jamestown, Calif. For more information, please visit www.californiarailroad.museum.
SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is seeking information to aid the identification and apprehension of a bank robbery suspect who is allegedly tied to four robberies in the greater Sacramento region. The young Caucasian male is suspected of the following robberies:
Friday, November 23, 2018, at approximately 1:55 p.m. at
River City Bank located at 239 E Street in Davis;
Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at approximately 2:05 p.m. at
U.S. Bank located at 903 Colusa Avenue in Yuba City;
Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at approximately 1:43 p.m. at
U.S. Bank located at 1020 White Rock Road in El Dorado Hills;
Friday, February 15, 2019, at approximately 3:25 p.m. at
U.S. Bank located at 1020 white Rock Road in El Dorado Hills;
Additionally, the suspect also allegedly attempted to rob the Wells Fargo Bank located at 1235 Stratford Avenue in Dixon on Saturday, March 2, 2019, but was unsuccessful.
During the commission of each of the robberies, the suspect entered the bank, approached the teller, and presented a demand note. After receiving money, the suspect then departed on foot.
The suspect—believed to be 20 to 30 years old—stands 5’6” to 5’10” tall with a thin build. He has frequently worn hooded sweatshirts with the hood pulled over baseball-style caps, dark basketball-style shorts, and black shoes. Images of the suspect, including a composite developed from surveillance footage from the robberies, are available on the FBI’s Wanted Bank Robber website: https://bankrobbers.fbi.gov/robbers-container/2018-12-20.9882688550.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, Davis Police Department, Dixon Police Department, and Yuba City Police Department are investigating this series of bank robberies.
Individuals with information about this man may call the FBI Sacramento Field Office. Tips may also be submitted online at: tips.fbi.gov. If the subject is spotted in the community, the public is urged to call 911 and not approach the individual. Wanted fugitives, bank robbers, and other cases in need of additional information from the public are posted on the FBI Sacramento Division’s Most Wanted page.
Findings will determine how to prepare foster youth for success in college and career
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - United Way is gathering foster youth and community leaders working on foster care issues for its inaugural Foster Youth Summit on April 5 from 9 am-3 pm at the Sacramento State Ballroom, 6000 J Street.
The summit will identify opportunities to increase the number of foster youth who graduate from high school and go on to complete post-secondary education. Summit findings will be released as a report that will determine the direction of United Way’s foster youth programs. For more information and to sign up: YourLocalUnitedWay.org/FosterYouthSummit.
Stephanie Bray, president and CEO of United Way California Capital Region, announced the summit to 300 supporters at United Way’s 17th Annual Women United Luncheon on March 21. More than $78,000 was raised through the luncheon for United Way’s programs that are preparing foster youth for success in college and career. Since 2002, United Way’s Women United action group has raised more than $2 million for programs for local foster youth.
“It’s time to take our work to the next level,” Bray said at the luncheon. “For far too long, we have talked about the drop-out and homelessness rates for foster youth. We know that no one person or organization can do this alone. So we are convening a public forum to discuss how we move the needle on high school graduation and college or career attainment for foster youth so that fewer struggle as they transition into adulthood.”
Nonprofit service providers, state and county foster youth advocates, school districts, foster youth and other supporters will come together for a deep dive into community level data, a foster youth panel on real-world implications of the data, breakout sessions and a keynote speech by Jennifer Rodriguez, JD, executive director of Youth Law Center and a former foster youth.
At the luncheon, Bray cited a 2018 Annie E. Casey Foundation report that noted without any support, California foster youth drop out of high school at a rate of 24 percent, 30 percent do not have stable housing and 51 percent are unemployed.
“That is so much lost potential,” Bray said. “We at United Way believe that every child, including each foster youth, has the opportunity to achieve. Imagine the impact if we don’t invest in our foster youth’s potential.”
Bray referred to luncheon keynote speaker September Hargrove as an example of how foster youth achieve success, not only for themselves but for communities across the country. Hargrove, a former Sacramento foster youth who volunteered with United Way a decade ago, is now VP of global philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co., leading the company’s $150 million commitment to Detroit through neighborhood revitalization, small business, financial capability and workforce development.
For nearly 100 years, United Way California Capital Region has brought local people together to make community change happen. Today, the nonprofit is bringing people together across Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, Placer and Yolo counties for its Square One Project, a 20-year promise to significantly increase the number of students in our region who graduate from high school ready for success in college and beyond.
United Way believes ending poverty starts in school and is working to ensure kids meet important milestones and their families receive support and resources. To learn more and make a donation: YourLocalUnitedWay.org.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - On March 14, volunteers were recognized by Directors of Volunteers in Agencies (DOVIA) at Shriner’s Hospital for Children – Northern California. Nearly 100 people attended the annual awards ceremony which recognized three categories of volunteers – Youth Volunteer of the Year, Individual Volunteer of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Volunteer Engagement.
Rachele Doty, CVA is the board’s chair and presented the welcome to all nominees, their friends and families, judges, and Brian Ricks from Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s office. Doty said that each of the nearly twenty-five nominees present received certificates from DOVIA and from Cooley’s office. He was unable to attend this year but is very supportive of the awards.
The Youth Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Abby Schumacher, who has volunteered at Fairytale Town since 2016. In addition to the certificate, she received the $500 Margaret Einsphar Memorial Scholarship award to assist with college tuition. Youth volunteers are under 21 years of age and must currently be students. They are also required to have donated a minimum of 25 hours of service during the year and are nominated by their organizations.
Schumacher was nominated by Fairytale Town’s Education and Program Coordinator, Samantha Hawes who wrote, “Abby has truly made the lives of people who come to our park helping in summer camp, programs, events, marketing and so much more. We are so proud of her, and she is truly a wonderful volunteer.”
Doris Henke, a decades-long volunteer with Snowline Hospice received the Individual Volunteer of the Year award. She received a certificate and a $100 honorarium gift for Snowline Hospice. Henke has spent a lifetime giving back to the community in El Dorado County where she has lived since the 1960s.
“Doris Henke is a name to be recognized and remembered. Her name is truly synonymous with love and caring because of the profound difference she makes in the lives of others,” wrote Bonnie Davis, CVA, Director of Workforce and Volunteer Services for Snowline Hospice. Davis nominated Henke for the award. “It is impossible to quantify the hundreds or thousands of lives she has touched through the years. This loving wife, encourager, mother, caregiver, businesswoman, selfless giver, community developer, friend, ministry-builder, and mentor lives an intentional life of service to others and is a shining example of ‘giving your all’.”
The Individual Volunteer Award of the Year is new this year, said Doty. “We had always focused on the youth volunteer, and DOVIA is looking to the future.”
The final award for Outstanding Achievement in Volunteer Engagement award was presented to Darlene Cullivan, CVA of Eskaton for her work. “I am honored to receive this special award as it demonstrates Eskaton’s vibrant philanthropic culture. Eskaton is grateful for the over 2600 volunteers who invest their time, talent and compassion to enrich the lives of seniors. I am inspired daily by people of all ages aspiring to make a difference. Eskaton volunteers illustrate our belief that Age is Beautiful.”
Nominees were judged by Carla Lehn, CVA, Cole Forstedt, and Valeri Mihanovich and had, Doty said, a difficult time making the final decision this year because all of the nominees were “so wonderful.” Volunteer service must have been performed in Sacramento, Yolo, Placer, or El Dorado counties during the 2018 calendar year.
Service includes work release time, without pay or for student course credit, and each nominating organization must provide service for the larger community, not simply for its members.
Nominees were involved with Access Leisure and Paralympic Sport, Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, ACC Senior Services, Sacramento Sheriffs Explorer Program, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, Breathe California Sacramento Region, yolo County 4-H, Project R.I.D.E., Inc., Sacramento Tree Foundation, First Call Hospice, Sacramento SPCA, Foothill Therapy Dogs, Sutter Hospice, Oak Park Community Center, Gardenland/Northgate Neighborhood Association, and Junior League of Sacramento, Inc., Snowline Hospice, Eskaton, and Fairytale Town.
“DOVIA exists to support the volunteer managers, to provide networking, continuing education and support,” said Doty who has held several board positions. DOVIA presents at least one event each month.
For additional information, visit http://www.doviasacramento.org/.
LOOMIS, CA (MPG) - Consistent with the mission of Soroptimist International (SI) to “transform the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment and enabling opportunities,” the SI Loomis Basin (SILB) club presented grants and awards on February 20 to support education, especially for women and girls. The club distributed nearly $10,000 in scholarships, teacher grants and support for the Senior L.I.F.E center.
The Ruby Award for Women Helping Women recognized Carol Pepper-Kittredge, Associate Dean, Workforce Innovation, Sierra College for “improving the lives of women through her professional activities.” Through the CCC Maker initiative, she has created an inclusive statewide makerspace model to prepare all students for innovative, entrepreneurial and non-traditional careers. Pepper-Kittredge also previously led the Sierra Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Consortium, according to Gregg Ramseth, Technology & Assessment, Placer Union High School District (PUHSD). “Carol and her team were instrumental in pivoting Placer Union's perspective and outreach, helping us design inclusive programs that build confidence in young women as makers, entrepreneurs, problem-solvers and innovators,” said Ramseth. The club provided funds for Hacker Lab powered by Sierra College makerspace scholarships for women.
The SI Live Your Dream Award celebrates women who have overcome poverty, divorce, domestic violence and other life challenges through education. Ashley Volkerts received a $3000 scholarship to continue pursuing her associate degree in Counseling at Intercoast College. According to her references, “she has overcame a multitude of obstacles in her personal life, and maintains a beyond amazing attitude, while caring for her son,” and “she is learning how to take care of herself as a single parent. Education is the key to her future. She sees that, and it is her driving force.”
The Loomis Soroptimist Community Service Award of $1000 was given to Jianna Domingo, a Del Oro student who volunteers with Stand Up Placer, a private nonprofit that provides support to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Domingo explained that she renovated a play room in the Stand Up Placer safe house. “I hope that this room allows for the mother-child relationship to be nurtured,” said Domingo. The PUHSD also chose Domingo to be an inaugural student board member. She hopes to go into the field of education, work internationally and empower others to fight against injustice and overcome oppression.
Since 1978, the Senior L.I.F.E. Center of Loomis has provided social and educational activities for seniors. SILB was instrumental in establishing the program and continues to support it through this grant that was accepted by directors, Acsa and Fred Hitchen. In addition to classes, the program offers nutritious lunches for participants.
To support education in the region, the club provides Teacher Grants to help instructors fund special projects that will have lasting impact on students.
Casey Mills and Stephanie Meyer, eighth grade teachers at H. Clark Powers received grants. Mills will spark students’ interest in reading by adding books suggested by students to his library and encouraging them to complete the 40 book challenge. Meyer anticipates using the grant for a ramp that students will use with the lunar rover they create to explain Newton’s law, graph speed and understand the forces acting on the rover.
At Placer Elementatry, kindergarten teacher Amanda Ross will purchase a microphone that she can wear around her neck and use in class for singing and talking with students as well as allow the shy chilren to use the microphone to build their confidence when speaking to groups.
Librarian, Sylvia Edmond, at Newcastle Elementary School, plans to use the grant funds to replace worn out books as well as select new appealing books that will encourage students to read.
Janine Brizendine, kindergarten teacher at Loomis Grammar School, has implemented a writer’s workshop and will purchase additional texts to excite the children about writing in addition to white boards students can use to practice handwriting. Also at Loomis Grammar School, sixth grade teacher, Susan McQueen will enable her students to practice the metric system with additional scale and calibration kits for science labs.
Karen Acosta, fifth grade teacher at Loomis Grammar School, will purchase Wobble chairs that allow active students to rock and move their feet while sitting and this continuous movement helps them focus, participate and complete assignments. Third Grade teacher at Loomis Grammar School, Julie Levens-Hupp, will either use her grant for historical costumes that children can dress up in during a biography unit or for flexible seating which research has shown helps students focus and learn.
Leslie Morgan is a middle school teacher at Penryn Elementary School and wants to purchase Lego base plates for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) projects in the school’s new makerspace.
Third grade teacher, Julie Woodward, at Franklin Elementary School, intends to use the grant to address students’ diverse learning needs by enhancing her classroom environment with standing desks. Bonnie Robinson, first grade teacher at Franklin Elementary School, has found that small collaborative groupings build a positive learning environment and will purchase a rolling television stand and portable document camera to project visual aids from anywhere in the room.
At Loomis Basin Charter School, first grade teacher Christy D’Ambrosio plans new units on space and maps, and will use the grant for new books and listening center equipment.
The Loomis Basin SI club fundraises throughout the year to support the awards program. The next fundraiser is Tostado Bingo on March 30. Tickets are $30 and available at the Loomis Chamber of Commerce, from members and by calling 916-652-7252.
About Soroptimist International Loomis Basin
Soroptimist (soroptimist.org) is an international volunteer service organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Soroptimist International of Loomis Basin is a 501(c)(3) organization.
To learn more about the club, join SI Loomis Basin for club meetings on the first and third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 at the Train Depot at Taylor Rd. and Horseshoe Bar Rd. in Loomis. Learn more at www.soroptimistloomis.com and find Soroptimist Loomis Basin on Facebook.
SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - The Western monarch butterfly population has declined, according to Xerces Society, by 99.4% in fewer than four decades. Angela Laws, Monarch and Pollinator Ecologist at Xerces Society, said that although this species’ numbers have been declining since the 1980s, the “sharp drop in numbers this year is alarming.”
Extinction is a possibility for this iconic brown and orange species. Environment California, Xerces Society, lawmakers, ecologists, and citizens throughout the state are working to preserve the Western monarch.
California Assemblyman Mark Stone (29th District) authored AB-2421, Wildlife Conservation Board: Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Rescue Program, which was approved by Governor Jerry Brown on September 26, 2018.
Stone said that in addition to the butterfly’s iconic status, it is also “an indicator species that is helping us begin to understand the impact we are having on the habitats that monarchs, as well as native bees, beetles, and birds, depend on to survive.”
The Wildlife Conservation Board met in Sacramento on March 7 and approved guidelines for the Monarch and Pollinator Rescue Program. Grant project applications will be announced on the board’s website. Applications will be accepted year round for one of the four annual review periods. Funds may be used for restoration or enhancement of breeding habitat on private or public lands and may be used for seasonal or temporary habitats.
At a presentation at Pietro Talini’s Nursery in January, Laws said that the Thanksgiving count of the
Western monarch showed an 86% drop since the 2017 count. “Several factors come into play,” she said, “and one is the loss of habitat and loss of food.” She is currently working with City of Sacramento District 3 councilmember, Jeff Harris, to plant a butterfly garden at Niños Parkway in South Natomas and encourages others to do the same.
Since the majority of the overwintering land is located on private property, residents and land owners may be the best hope for the species, whose numbers are down to an estimated 200,000 from its high of 10 million in the 1980s.
Native milkweed is necessary for the butterfly’s survival and is being lost due to land development and herbicide use. It can, however, be planted, as Laws and Harris are doing, in gardens and other locations. The milkweed is critical since it is where the butterfly lays its eggs and the caterpillar feeds on the plant so that it can grow and become a monarch.
Native nectar plants are also necessary since they provide the food for the adult monarch. Both plants need to be available in order for the monarch to thrive through its complete lifecycle and during overwintering.
According to Xerces Society, “the Sacramento Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills, and Coast Range are vital to the survival of the first generation of monarchs produced each spring,” and the group is urging the state to work to protect the butterfly by protecting its habitats from pesticide use, better manage overwintering sites and restore breeding and overwintering habitats.
Other ways that individuals can help are to contribute to citizen science by making and logging observations of the monarch, stop using insecticides and herbicides which not only harm the butterfly, but these can also kill milkweed. Xerces Society and Environment California also encourage people to encourage others to do the same.
According to Tierra Curry, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity, increased habitat has helped the Eastern monarch butterfly numbers to rebound, but she said that a single good year is not an indicator of future years and calls for continued protection.
In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will make a determination whether to add the monarch to the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. USFWS has been reviewing data since the request was submitted in 2014.
For additional information, visit https://xerces.org/.