Harrietstown protects monarch butterflies

To the editor:

AdkAction.org would like to praise and thank the Harrietstown board for its recent decision to abide by a roadside mowing schedule to protect monarch butterflies this summer and to encourage their slight resurgence from all-time lows.

“Monarchs are giving us another chance,” said AdkAction.org monarch project Chair Marsha Stanley in an appearance before the town board at its May 28 meeting. “Monarchs will be in the Adirondacks soon. They have been spotted in Ontario and northern Pennsylvania.”

The Harrietstown board approved a contract in which the town will be paid approximately $3,000 to mow town roadsides for Franklin County this summer. The contract stipulates no mowing from July 1 through Sept. 15, prime monarch breeding time on Adirondack milkweed.

Adirondack monarchs are especially important to species survival because monarchs born so far north here and in Canada are the long-lived ones which migrate to Mexico for the winter, then back to the U.S. the next summer. Each one has the potential to produce thousands of offspring over several generations next year.

AdkAction.org has been working for three years to convince Adirondack officials to change their mowing schedules to give monarchs the best shot at reproducing. We have been advocating for this throughout the Adirondacks, and it is gratifying that Saranac Lake listened and acted.

We invite residents to learn more on the AdkAction.org monarch pages.


Airlie C Lennon

AdkAction.org chair

Upper Saranac Lake