From Milkweed to Monarchs; Taking Steps to Enhance Monarch Habitat

Monarch butterflies need mountain forests in Mexico for winter habitat, which are under pressure for competing use by tourism and agriculture. In the U.S. monarch butterflies need milkweed to reproduce and feed, but milkweeds are under pressure from herbicides. Monarch butterflies have been disappearing from North America at an alarming rate. As of late 2020, the number of monarchs counted in the western United States represented less than 1% of population estimates from the 1980s. How can a mining company help a species in decline?

Resolution Copper has worked with biologists and Tribal Monitors from WestLand Resources and most importantly the late Celeste Andresen, formerly of The Nature Conservancy who was a champion of wildlife, ecosystem sustainability and conservation of natural habitat along the Lower San Pedro to create a milkweed garden. In 2019 native milkweed was planted on Resolution Copper’s 7B Ranch. Ms. Andresen oversaw the milkweed habitat and the 3,000 acre 7B property with great care, until her passing in September 2020. Her memory and dedication will live on through the butterflies she’s helped blossom and save.

Selwyn Salina, a tribal monitor from the Hopi Tribe, who participated in the milkweed planting shared, “Our people believe we are responsible for the health and protection of this planet.”

Resolution Copper will continue to monitor the milkweed habitat on property under our ownership and in partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. In addition, we are also assessing Resolution Copper private lands we manage for the installation of additional milkweed gardens to improve monarch habitat.