FORRC SOUTHERN NEVADA MILKWEED PROJECT

Manager's June Report:

Field Team Update:

Our field teams are all over Southern Nevada, just a few of the trips have been: Warm Springs and the Muddy river, Ash Meadows, Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, Corn Creek, Sandy Valley, Cottonwood Valley, Lake Mead, Big Bend, the Wetlands Park, Mount Charleston, Spring Mountain Ranch, Lovell and Trout Canyons, Red Rock, Bird Springs and even Peekaboo Canyon. We currently have data on 30+ milkweeds different sightings in Southern Nevada.

If you want to go on a Field Team session, let us know, you’ll learn a lot about the area even monarchs. We really need your help, either letting us know if you see milkweeds or if you’d like to join one of our Field Team. You’ll learn about identifying and photographing plants, using GPS equipment and recording data on the Seeds of Success (SOS) and Xerces collection forms. And it’ll get you into areas in Southern Nevada that you will likely haven’t seen before.

We need your help! We’re out three times a week! Click on the Calendar option from the left-hand menu to see our schedule and information on signing up.

Current Milkweeds our Field Teams are Tracking

Scientific Name Common Name
Asclepias speciosa Showy milkweed
Asclepias erosa Desert milkweed
Asclepias asperila Spider milkweed
Asclepias subverticillata Horsetail milkweed
Asclepias fascicularis Narrowleaf milkweed
Asclepias cryptoceras Davis milkweed
Asclepias subulata Rush milkweed
Funastrum cynanchoides Climbing milkweed

Outplant Update:

Our propagation outplant efforts at Warm Springs, Wetlands Park, Spring Mountain Ranch and the Corn Creek Visitor Center (4850 plants) has been a learning experience for our team. Results won’t be in until October, but it looks like our Q-plugs, made with earthworm casings, seem to be an attraction for many rodents and birds. Attracted by the earthworm odor, they dig out and eat the plug and sometimes even eat the plant. It seems like the larger plants grown in potting soil are doing better, although that process takes additional time and labor to complete. Caging the young plants is an option and will be evaluated.

Out next outplant will begin in October with plants we will begin growing in the greenhouses in late August or early September. We’ll replant and seed all areas again as well as several others.

Join our Propagation Team, we are learning and certainly can use your help.

Community Outreach Update:

We are getting our project out and into the community. Recent sessions with The Master Gardeners of Nevada, The Nevada Heritage Society, The Nevada Native Plant Society, Green Our Planet, Red Rock Canyon’s Endangered Species Day, Red Rock Canyon’s Butterfly Day and The Audubon Society.

We have brochures about our project, display items, a PowerPoint presentation and would welcome your participation if you’d like to join our Outreach Team.

Greenhouse Update:

Although growing in the greenhouse is slow because of the heat this summer, we are still making progress and plans for beginning our fall planting in mid-August. Our goal is to have 5000 plants ready for outplanting by October.

In addition, we are planting an area at the nursery to properly display the different kinds of milkweeds we’ve located. Additional companion blooming plants to promote attracting pollinators will be planted as a monarch waystation. Lots of fun things going on at the nursery, if you have a green thumb or want one and have an interest in gardening, contact Jeff Young: young@friendsofredrockcanyon.org

Seed Collection Update:

We are just beginning seed collecting; July, August and September are our best months. Our field teams are out twice a week, locating and collecting data on each plant location. Once seeds are collected, we’ll clean and store the seeds, reserving some for planting and some for the SOS program.

The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) road graders are at it again this year, leveling over 500 Erosa milkweeds on Tecopa Road that we have been monitoring. Only 20 remain. Currently we are talking to NDOT to see if anything can be agreed to.

Also, we have poachers! Yes poachers, we’d been monitoring a large group of Rush milkweeds near Nelson and discovered that all seedpods were removed.

Summer Schedule:

Check the summer schedule by clicking on the Calendar option from the left-hand menu. If you are registered in Volgisics you can also find it on the Volunteer Information Center (VIC).

WE NEED YOU!

Without our volunteers, we will fall short of our projects objectives and our work will probably go unnoticed. In our first six months of the project we’ve had 124 volunteers as well as 70 other partners and supporters express an interest in our project.

Finally

A big reach out to Melissa Sanders our Seeds of Success leader working with the BLM/GBI who have been so supportive to our teams’ seed collecting efforts. Melissa was collecting seeds with her BLM team on June 14 and was bitten by a young Mojave Green rattlesnake. It was a serious strike and has put her into intensive care.

Manager's April Report:

April Log

Earth Day and Red Rock Day:

Earth day was on the 22nd, yet we celebrated it on the 23rd with Red Rock Day and our “Out Plant” at Spring Mountain Ranch.

In 1970, the year of our first Earth Day, the movement gave voice to an emerging consciousness, channeling human energy toward environmental issues. Forty-six years later, we continue to lead with groundbreaking ideas and by the power of our example.

See more at: www.earthday.org/earth-day/#sthash.eIrD6Mod.dpuf

The most important part of our day was the 52 volunteers, half of them were youth and the future of what our land will become. If we can get the message to them, then maybe that’s what’s it’s all about. I love the having the youth on our SNMP and what their parents are promoting to them.

Today we continued the effort and I realize that both the young and us older are in step with continuing what was begun in 1970. Thank you so so much for making this “Out Plant” happen!

SNMP Schedule Update:

We have updated our volunteer event schedule. Please click on Calendar from the menu at the left to see all our events for April and May.

"Out Plant” at Warm Springs:

On May 7th we’ll do a major “Out Plant”, about 60 miles NW of Vegas off of Hwy 15 and on the Muddy River. This “Out Plant” with be with Showy milkweeds, collected seeds at the Pahranagat wildlife refuge. We have 65 volunteers signed up for this plant (RSVP’s are closed), although we will have another plant at that site later on in May, it’s a great site and one that certainly fits the profile for our milkweed project. Let me know if you want to volunteer for that date.

Milkweed sightings?

We are keeping a list of milkweed sightings. When you are out, keep your eyes open, review our milkweed guide and report your findings to us (SNMP) and we’ll put one of our field teams on it. They will go see it, ID it, photograph it, take coordinates on it’s location and begin to observe it’s lifecycle, and hopefully be able to collect seeds from it. All this information is maintained in our Teams database and will be made available to all of our partners, the Monarch Joint Venture Society, The Xerces Society and the Nevada Heritage Society. Eventually, this data will be put into a map that will begin to show us where monarchs might frequent on their migration journey. Keep your eyes open, we need your help to make this project work. Here’s what we need:

Date Time # Seen Site Coordinates Observer Remarks Action

Monarch sightings?

The Xerces Society wants our monarch sightings (I have 2 this past week). Send them to us and we’ll log them all together and then send them to Xerces each 6 months. Here’s what we need:

Date Time # Seen Site Coordinates Observer Remarks Action

New site to visit: www.facebook.com/The-Xerces-Society-193182577358618/?fref=nf

New Ideas:

Recently our team has spent some time in Pollinator Workshops, we’ve learned a lot and I believe we have begun to see the whole picture: Milkweeds, other blooming plants (producing nectar), the the actual life cycle of the monarch and then the other pollinators who, are frankly the future of our native plant’s ability to pollinate and reproduce for their own species. This challenge is, as you may know, is in jeopardy of what chemicals are being produced to alter our crops and even our native or natural lands. Our goal is to find, observe, furnish data, collect seeds and even propagate to test areas that may expand these plants and in turn support the safety of our dwindling monarchs.

One idea that came out in several of the classes I’ve taught to the Junior Master Gardener’s is making Bee houses? I’d like to throw that to our group? Especially with the families that did such a great job Saturday. There’s the project: Bees need places to lay their eggs, the seem to like holes (5/16” dia and 3 ˝” deep)) in wood. These Bee Houses are crucial to the growth of our bee colonies, which are in decline. Not just the production of honey, which we all love, but more so with their ability to collect pollen while the collect honey nectar, they actually are the ones that make pollination happens between plants, which expand and continue the growth of our plants. It’s pretty simple: We spray our plants with chemicals (roundup) we not only kill our plants, we actually kill our pollinators. By definition pollinators could be: the weather (wind or rain), birds, animals, and then certainly insects (both good and not so good), but once we look at the whole picture we’ll see that something just has to be done to protect our environment.

For starters, let’s each make one Bee House? I have about 25 bee houses made, and you are welcome to get them, just let me know and I’ll drop them off to you? It’s a start and if each family can have one, we can make a difference.

Status:

Our Milkweed Project officially started 12/01/2015, it will end on 12/01/2017 unless we are given another 2 year grant to continue our work. Currently we feel we are on point and making progress, seriously, because of our partners and your help.

We need your help:

We have a variety of opportunities available on our SNWP Team:

Let us know and we’ll get you into whichever you want, if you’ve got another idea, let us know?

Click on Volunteer Positions from the menu on the left-hand border of this page to get more information on volunteering.

Thanks again for all of your support!

To date we have had, in 4 months, 87 volunteers work with us and we have 65 partners and supporters behind us, for a total of 163 on our Team, this is super and I know that together the SNMP will make a difference for milkweeds and monarchs. We are on schedule for a big summer, finding and collecting, then growing, please be apart of our project?

April 3, 2016 - Four Months Recap:

What a great start with our two year project, here’s what we’ve done since December 1, 2015: