Petition: Ban Toxic RoundUp on Federal Land – Save The Monarch Butterfly

America’s federal lands are some of the most pristine and beautiful parts of our country, yet the use of toxic herbicides on federal land by our own government is contributing to the steep decline in one of our nation’s most iconic species.

Monarch-MilkweedMonarch butterflies are on the brink of extinction due to the overuse of herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup that use the toxic chemical glyphosate. In just two decades of skyrocketing glyphosate use, monarch populations have plunged so low that we are in real danger of losing a true marvel of nature in our lifetimes: the annual monarch migration.

We must act now to urge the U.S. government to cease using glyphosate-containing herbicides, like Monsanto’s Roundup, that are completely destroying monarch habitat on federal land.

That’s why I started my own campaign on, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, says the following:

The unchecked spraying of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, has contributed to an alarming decline in the monarch butterfly population in just two decades. We urge you to ban the use of glyphosate and encourage the planting of milkweed and other native prairie plants on federal lands.

Tell the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture:
Ban glyphosate use on federal land now.
Click here to sign the petition.

Monarchs migrate every year from Canada to Mexico and back. In 1996, an estimated 1 billion monarch butterflies migrating to forests in central Mexico covered nearly 50 acres. But in 2013, they only covered the area about the size of a football field.

This dramatic decrease in monarch populations is due to the loss of their primary breeding habitat and food source: milkweed. 5cdcd28292b65af09f6465c03235d44fThese plants that are so crucial to the monarchs’ survival have been nearly eradicated on their migration path. It is estimated that as much as 165 million acres of habitat has been lost since the 1990s. Like many other plants, milkweed has been destroyed in great numbers in the Midwest due to the widespread use of glyphosate on corn and soy fields.

Recovering monarch butterflies before they vanish completely is an achievable goal, and one that future generations should expect of us. We must immediately take steps to stop this extinction by restricting the use of glyphosate and working to bring back milkweed before it’s too late.

Will you join me and add your name to my petition urging the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to ban the use of toxic glyphosate herbicides on federal land?

Thank you for your support.
Rep. Chellie Pingree

Monsanto’s Contribution

On March 31, 2015, Monsanto announced that it would contribute $400,000 “to partner with and support the efforts of experts working to benefit monarch butterflies.”[1]Monsanto Announces Multi-Year Commitment to Help Monarch Butterflies Additionally…

Monsanto will match the initial $1.2 million pledge from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the nfwf-logoNational Fish and Wildlife Foundation Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund and provide $2.4 million additional funding to match commitments from federal agencies over the next three years. This support will be targeted to provide habitat restoration, education and outreach and milkweed seed and plant production.

The $3.6 million as matched funding it requires follow-through on pledges from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and future funding from other federal agencies — carrying through on their pledges for support. Considering how US Congress has balanced the budget in recent years, would you feel confident that these pledges now and in the future are followed through on? It will require the public to request and maintain vigilance over allocations now and in the next three years. At present $1.2 million is pledged by NFWF, there is no agency plan to pledge another $2.4 to find matching funds.

“Through its investment in the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund, Monsanto will provide resources that will enable tens of thousands of Americans to participate in efforts to preserve this amazing species for generations to come,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and chief executive officer of NFWF. “Our congressional charter directs us to build partnerships between the public and private sectors in order to increase funding available for on-the-ground conservation efforts. This partnership between Monsanto and NFWF continues our work of bringing all parties to the table to support vital wildlife conservation efforts.”[2]National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Monsanto Announce Commitment to Help Monarch Butterflies

What About Federal Lands?

usda-featureAt present there are no provisions to prevent use of glyphosate on federal lands. Signing the petition would remove the threat not only on behalf of the monarch butterfly, but to protect all wildlife and humans from encountering glyphosate on federal lands. 

FWS – Save The Monarch 

Learn more about how to personally be involved in assisting the survival of Monarch Butterflies. The US Fish & Wildlife Service has a number of resources online at the Save The Monarch page.


Monarch Joint Venture