#City & Town Planning
Monterey County Parks Department
United States of America

Although Mexico contains the majority of Monarch overwintering sites, according to the Ventana Wilderness Society, (VWS),

"In some winters, Monterey County may accommodate as much as 35% of the western monarch population." http://www.ventanaws.org/conservation/monarchs.htm#monarchs

At the present, there are nine areas in Monterey County identified as overwintering sites by the VWS. The Monarchs in these areas are monitored annually, and the VWS works with California Polytechnic Institute to protect these areas, but this is on a case-to-case basis. One is on private property, one is on a roadside, and six are in state or city parks. The remaining site (in Pacific Grove) is the only one identified as a 'Monarch Sanctuary'.

"Sites are managed by California Department of Parks and Recreation, the Forest Service, the City of Pacific Grove and private citizens. VWS has worked with each of these landowners to manage their respective monarch groves by producing reports and making recommendations."

In 1952, a city ordinance increased the fine for "molesting the butterflies in any way" to $1,000 in Pacific Grove.

In 1990 the residents of Pacific Grove voted to tax themselves $1.2 million to buy the land for the Pacific Grove Sanctuary and save it from condominium development.

According to the VWS thanksgiving counts between 1997 and 2006, this sanctuary housed a range of 4,700 to 45,000 Monarchs every winter. For several years, despite its small area, the Pacific Grove Sanctuary housed the most of the nine sites.

Although the VWS and Cal Poly are working on monitoring and tagging, equal protection should be provided for Monarchs in this county, regardless of location.

We, the undersigned, call on the Monterey County Parks Department to standardize all parks or state reserves containing Monarch Butterfly overwintering sites.

As in the Pacific Grove Monarch Grove Sanctuary, we recommend a county-wide ordinance authorizing a $1,000 fine for molesting a butterfly in any way.

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The Standardize Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries in Monterey County petition to Monterey County Parks Department was written by Sam Hopstone and is in the category City & Town Planning at GoPetition.