Monarch Mexican Migration and land management

Patrick Foley patfoley at
Fri Nov 21 14:39:11 EST 2003


Perhaps Texas needs better environmental protection laws. Talk to their 
governor and legislature.

I certainly support stronger environmental protection laws in 
California. And vote for those who do also.


Grkovich, Alex wrote:

> All this talks about the Monarch overwintering sites are "interesting", but
> there may be an equal or perhaps an even bigger threat going on within our
> own U.S. borders, to MANY species of all animal (and plant) groups...
> I have made three visits to San Antonio, Texas in the past year, in order to
> visit a friend (which is of course a good excuse to go and collect)...and
> have been increasingly shocked at the scope of very extensive and VERY
> poorly planned "housing developments" going on there...One area where in
> particular I have watched this "progress" is on the west side of the city,
> where hundreds upon hundreds of acres of beautiful Lower Austral habitat are
> being cleared - razed, bulldozed to dust, to well below the soil, and are
> being replaced by hundreds upon hundreds of blocks of "housing
> projects"...and where this "development" has not yet taken place, all one
> sees is signs advertisement future "Green Acres" or "Sierra Acres" or
> something such...NOTHING whatsoever of the vegetation at all is being left
> behind, and the "houses" are little more than $80,000 to $125,000 paper
> shacks with a clean and pretty facade...At first, I also thought how nice
> that the outer ring around the west of the city, Rt. 1604, is being
> converted from a two lane country (sub-suburban road) to a freeway, which
> will no doubt all too soon be choked and clogged with the same levels of
> "traffic" that is now choking freeways all over our country (including in
> San Antonio itself, despite the fact that for example, I-410 has 12 lanes in
> some areas...and try getting from Boston to Portland, Maine sometime...once
> you manage to clear the "traffic", it all builds up again at the "toll
> booths")...until it was pointed out to me that the state is applying for the
> expansion of the highway to "accommodate" the perhqps hundreds of thousands
> of new residents who are apparently in many cases being imported from
> surrounding regions (i.e. states) into these virtual "ghettos". Already the
> cost in terms of social "progress" is being felt into these areas...these
> "ghettos are fast becoming drug and crime-infested...This has nothing to do
> with urban has little more to do with anything other than the
> making of a quick and cheap buck by the "developers" at the expense of the
> community, of the residents of surrounding, better-planned neighborhoods and
> area, and finally of the current and future residents of these "ghettos",
> who probably are being sucked-in to buy in these "communities...And finally
> to the natural residents - plant and animal - which have and are being
> devastated and wiped out.
> I have seen the  same "progress" going on in large scale around Orlando,
> Florida and in many other areas...and from what I understand, perhaps
> destroying what's left of the lower Rio Grande Valley is next on the agenda
> of these "carpertbaggers"?
> God forbid.
> How about some comments and some action on bringing to a halt THESE threats
> to our environment as well as to our society and to our social wealth, Pat,
> Lincoln and Chip and others involved in "saving the Monarch"...compared to
> all this I'm afraid that the Monarch may be doing quite OK...and I saw them
> active in San Antonio as well as in south Texas last weekend... 
> Alex
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From:	Patrick Foley [SMTP:patfoley at]
>>Sent:	Friday, November 21, 2003 10:47 AM
>>To:	monarch at
>>Cc:	LEPS-L at
>>Subject:	Re: Monarch Mexican Migration and land management
>>So your theory about Monarch winter sites is that everything is cool in 
>>Mexico, and in California we should be planting more Eucalyptus, a 
>>highly flammable introduced tree.
>>Its hard to figure why your ideas are not embraced by the scientific 
>>Wouldn't it be OK to spend just a little money on land preservation and 
>>scientific research? The cost here is pretty small compared to, for 
>>example, bailing out ENRON CEO's or spraying DDT over all the wetlands 
>>and waterways of the USA, a few of our oldies-but-goodies. And just 
>>possibly, the work that Brower's team is doing will reveal more about 
>>the oyamel fir forest than the assurances you make.
>>As a masters student at U Az years ago, I heard the Canadian ecologist 
>>E. C. Pielou give a talk on the biogeography of brown algae. One of the 
>>very junior faculty somewhat haughtily asked her why she thought this 
>>research was of any scientific interest.
>>Steadily, pointedly, she made her reply, "Some of us believe that much 
>>can be learned about the world by actually looking at it."
>>Paul Cherubini wrote:
>>>Pat Foley wrote:
>>>>I am perfectly willing to give you credit for your observations and
>>>>insights about Monarch roosting behavior and the possibility that the
>>>>Brower group is overly committed to a simplistic model. But if your
>>>>alternative to the Brower model is to do nothing, to protect nothing,...
>>>Well, what needs to be done?  Like do we need to finance reforestation
>>>programs at the altitude where the monarchs overwinter? No, because
>>>there is practically no logging damage that needs to be repaired.
>>>Do we need to finance reforestation programs below the altitude where
>>>the monarch overwinter?  Not generally, because low altitude forests are
>>>not used by the butterflies as overwintering habitat.  However, the 
>>>monarchs commonly find drinking water on the cropland immediately
>>>below the sanctuaries  
>>>(obviously a benefit). In addition, nectar sources such as sunflowers
>>>commonly grow as weeds on this cropland 
>>> (photo lifted from
>>>Journey North website).
>>>Do we need to finance reforestation programs to repair occassional
>>>fire damage? No, because the forest regenerates on it's own.  
>>>Is the human population in the monarch reserve area rising rapidly? 
>>>No, because as in rural areas of the USA, the young people tend to
>>>migrate to the larger cities to find better educational and employment
>>>Do we need to finance studies about the "appropriate land management 
>>>policy for Monarch winter sites and learn more about the autecology
>>>of overwintering Monarchs?"  No, because current and past land use
>>>use practices have n proved to be compatible with monarch overwintering.
>>>Paul Cherubini
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