FORRC Southern Nevada Milkweed Project

June 2017 Update

Greenhouse Crew

A ton of progress today, thanks to the Pilgrims, and our Team leads. All is looking so so good. Garden is getting there, new irrigation is in place, new plants, seed cleaning is moving forward, and we're just about finished with transplanting all of what we have in the greenhouse.

We've now scheduled each Saturday to get out with our Field Teams to begin collecting data on new sighting and eventually collecting seeds.

Want to join us? Send an email to SNMP:

February 2017 Update

School Garden

An update of our two year Fish and Wildlife Foundation Grant:

We located 8 of the possible 14 different native milkweed plants that grow in Southern Nevada.

Currently in our greenhouse we are growing out 6200 milkweed plants and other nectar providing native plants for use in our program. These should be available for out planting in March/April.

280 of you have expressed your support to the SNMP, either buy volunteering (156 of you) or by spreading the word to others about our program or by giving needed advice to our Team.

1700+ attended SNMP community outreach sessions.

We have provided milkweed plants or seeds to 16 school gardens that are emphasising integrating native plants into their landscape.

Events and Activities coming up:

Climbing Milkweed

Field Teams:

Currently we have 3 Field Teams, those Teams have documented 56 new milkweed sightings, and we have collected over 2.6 million seeds. We expect to double that this year and locate a 14 different types of native milkweeds that exist in Southern Nevada. This year our Field Teams will continue to look for new plants, follow up leads, but also check on last years out plants (both seedlings and transplants) and will replant those areas. We will also request that at least one Team member in each vehicle have the Xerces Monarch SOS app on their iphone to record sightings. If you are interested in getting out with one of our Field Teams or want to start one yourself, please email SNMP:

March 25th, 2017

Our SNMP Field Team will have a workday at the Torrance Ranch in Beatty to plant a Monarch and pollinator way station. Our supporters on this project are Fish and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy. Space is limited, we currently have 8 of our team signed up and can only take a total of 12. We expect 30+ volunteers and will finish the day with a lunch provided by Nature Conservancy. Please RSVP via email to SNMP:

The Greenhouse/Nursery:

At the Floyd Lamb Nursery, our Milkweed/native plant pollinator garden is very near completion. Totally we will have all 8 milkweeds represented, as well as 40 other blooming native plants to attract pollinators and of course Monarchs. April 1st (a Saturday) we will have a morning work session (8-12) to finish the planting of the demonstration garden. If you’ve not been to see our work at the Nursery, come on out we’ll have bagels, fruit and drinks! RSVP either on Volgistics or email SNMP:

Community Outreach:

Interested in volunteering?

Volunteers must RSVP for all sessions.

We have updated our calendar with our 2017 schedule for these opportunities.

Please click on Calendar from the menu on the left-hand side of this page for up-to-date event information.

If you’d like to join any of these sessions and are already a registered volunteer please rsvp on Volgistics.

If you are a new volunteer or would like more info please email SNMP

September 2016 Update

Monarch Butterfly

Southern Nevada Milkweed Mapping, Seed Production and Distribution Project

The project scope includes locating milkweed, collecting data and mapping (GIS), monitoring them, collecting seeds, submitting seeds to the SOS program and propagating samples of all varieties of native Milkweed plants in Southern Nevada (our area includes approximately 2,239,050 acres). Once this study is completed, the Fish & Wildlife and others will have a better way to reverse the decline of the Monarch Butterfly, a very serious problem we’ve begun to experience.


Schedules are provided to all volunteers and interested individuals listed on the SNMP data sheet. Schedules are also available on the FORRC web site, volgistics and published in monthly updates. Generally the SNMP has sessions and activities each Tuesday and Thursday and certain special session dates. Sites for sessions are, the Floyd Lamb Nursery, The BLM Regional Office, the RRVC or at the designated site.

Volunteer opportunities include:

Volunteers must RSVP for all sessions.

We have updated our calendar with our September 2016 and October 2016 schedule for these opportunities.

Please click on Calendar from the menu on the left-hand side of this page for up-to-date event information.

Work Sessions are also available for the following categories, dates to be coordinated to fit your schedule.

For information on these jobs, please email SNMP

Volunteer Activities

12/012/2015 through 07/31/2016 SNMP has:


14 training classes were offered. Subjects included:

Greenhouse and Propagation


To date, 15 sessions have produced 22,500 seeds planted in the greenhouse.

Approximately 8,000 plants have been grown. 5,200 of those plants have been outplanted. The results of those out plants are currently being evaluated. Our preliminary result is that the success of this effort is well below our expectations.

New plantings will begin in August and out plants will be ready for October.

New methods are not being evaluated for future propagation. Tuber sections, cuttings, timely seedings, techniques of seeding in the greenhouse, etc are options.

New containers are being evaluated and we expect to begin planting in the greenhouse in early August

Activities and Community Outreach

Community Outreach

Master Gardener Monthly meeting and SNMP Presentation (February, 125 attended).

Heritage Society Nevada Native Plant Workshop and SNMP Presentation (4 SNMP volunteers attended).

Nevada Native Plant Society (3 SNMP volunteers attend each month).

Native Plant Society Monthly Meeting/Presentation (May).

School Garden Workshop and SNMP Presentation (April, 350 attended).

Nevada Forestry Pollinator Workshop (April, 5 SNMP volunteers attended).

BLM Southern Nevada Restoration Forum Field Trip and Workshop. (April, 4 SNMP volunteers attended).

Red Rock Canyon Endangered Species day. (May, SNMP staffed a display and information table, 5 Volunteers attended).

Red Rock Canyon Butterfly Day (May, SNMP staffed a display and information table, 7 Volunteers attended).

Nevada Wilderness Society Monthly Meeting and SNMP Presentation (Scheduled this October).

Southern Nevada Audubon Society Monthly Meeting and Presentation (Pending this October).

Field Teams

Field Teams

We have 3 field teams and 12 current volunteers to find and collect data. We need 2-3 more teams to effectively complete this work.

We have had 27 field sessions to find and collect data on milkweeds sightings. This information is being formatted into the Xerces data collection program and will eventually be made available to map and collect data information for Southern Nevada.

Currently the SNMT has 41 sites that data has been collected.

June Update

Shari and Jeff Young, our Field Team Leads that are monitoring the Spring Mountain Ranch site have found five chrysalides, two of which were kept in our terrarium. Those two have hatched and were tagged and released, the others are on erosas, soon to hatch. This is so super for our program and supports our position that, with help, we can strengthen the presence of monarchs in Southern Nevada and milkweeds are the clue to this happening.

Rush Milkweed Rush Milkweed Rush Milkweed Rush Milkweed

The photos above show a chrysalide found in the field, our first monarch tag, volunteer Shari Young releasing our first female monarch (tagged AL800) and Jeff Young releasing our first male monarch (tagged AL801).

You can view our latest Manager's Report and check out our calendar of events by clicking on the menu found on the left-hand side of this page.

Summer Schedule

We have updated our calendar with our summer schedule for Field Teams and Greenhouse volunteers.

Please click on Calendar from the menu on the left-hand side of this page for up-to-date event information.

Rush Milkweed

It's time to get into the Field!

As you can see this Rush Milkweed (Asclepias subulata) is already in it's beginning bloom cycle, that probably stared in early March. One of our field teams found these 30 plants near Nelson this week. They collected data, photos, etc, using Xerces/Fish and Wildlife data forms. These are the first native Nevada Rush Milkweeds we've located and we will, with permission of our pardner, collect seeds this summer.

This coming Thursday April 14th we'll do a Field Team training session to get our volunteers up to date with what to look for, how to record the data and how to monitor the plants during the next 5 months.

We'll meet at the Red Rock Visitor Center at 8:00 and then go to several locations (Spring Mountain Ranch, Bonnie Springs wash, Blue Diamond Wash and Hwy 160, to locate and record those know plants.

Either sign up on volgistics or email me and we will get you on the list.


Scheduling Changes

Please choose the calendar page from the left-hand menu to review the current schedule, we’ve made some changes that may be different from the past dates. These changes were made allowing us to focus on getting our teams into the field, finding plants and beginning the monitoring and collecting process and to spend more time in the greenhouse in preparation of plants for our first “Out Plants” April 23rd and May 7th.

If you’d like to join any of these sessions, please send me an email or rsvp on volgistics, we certainly need your help.

First of the year

Desert Milkweed

They are out! Our first erosas of the year, we found them yesterday, we assume they arrived around March the 10th. All total we located around 30+ plants, some from last year and some new. They are on the road side and in the wash in Spring Mountain Ranch, the site we found them last year. This will be our first data entry for our Field Team A (Sue and Roger Kolar) with our new Garmin GPS'.

We have volunteer space available for any of you that want to get out this Spring, learn about Milkweed, SOS recording techniques, GPS, photography and monitoring the life-cycle of the milkweed and eventuality the monarch butterfly.

Our seed propogation count is near 12,000 at the Floyd Lamb Nursery, We'll be there at 8:30 - 12:00 this coming St. Patrick's day (Thursday the 17th) be there and be sure to wear "Green".

Our first planting of the year is set for April 23 at Spring Mountain Ranch (We'll plant erosas and have 25 signed up for that plant) and the second is set for May 7th at the Warm Springs Natural Area on the Muddy River (we'll plant showy's have 70 signed up for that plant). Space is limited, RSVP on Volgistics.

Volunteers needed

Other things of interest coming up:

Friends of Red Rock Canyon receive $135,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to save Monarch butterflies.

Las Vegas, NV, November 6, 2015: Friends of Red Rock Canyon, a volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, received funding to help increase the Monarch butterfly population. This project will identify existing Monarch breeding sites as well as collect seeds to establish additional breeding and migration “stop-over” sites throughout southern Nevada. The two-year project will focus on locating, mapping and collecting over 500,000 native milkweed seeds on federal and state lands as well as creating and expanding the Monarchs “bed and breakfast” migration routes.

Volunteers will be trained on milkweed identification and seed collection beginning in January 2016. The majority of the collected seeds will be reserved for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Seeds of Success program. The remainder of the collected seeds will be cultivated at the Nevada Division of Forestry’s Nursery facility and will be ultimately planted on private, federal and state land beginning in late fall 2016. Plants will also be made available on a limited basis to the public for creating an urban oasis for Monarch butterflies.

“Friends of Red Rock Canyon is excited to begin the process of expanding and improving the habitats of the Monarch butterfly,” said Chuck Williams, President of Friends of Red Rock Canyon. “We are looking forward to working closely with the BLM in addition to our new partners: the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the State of Nevada. We believe the unique partnership efforts will increase the population of this critical pollinator.”

The population of the Monarch butterfly has plummeted over the past 20 years from 1 billion to less than 60 million today. This serious decrease is due mostly to loss of critical habitats. The reduction of the Monarch butterfly population is an indicator of the health of the native landscape and its pollinators. Native milkweed is a primary component of the health and migration of the Monarch butterflies: The milkweed habitat is essential for the laying/incubation of Monarch eggs and provides food for the resulting caterpillars. The plants also provide nectar for the migrating adult Monarchs.

Friends of Red Rock Canyon is a volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation and enrichment of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and the public lands of southern Nevada. Founded in 1984, the group has donated over $3,000,000 in direct financial support for Red Rock Canyon as well as over 500,000 volunteer hours.

If you are interested in volunteering for this project please click on the Volunteer Positions menu selection in the left-hand column.