EEI Supports Efforts to Protect Monarch Butterflies
April 2020

Monarch butterflies and other pollinators in the United States have drastically declined in recent years due to several factors, including loss of habitat. On April 3, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) finalized a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) to help preserve the species.

The CCAA for the monarch butterfly is a formal, voluntary agreement between the USFWS and non-federal landowners to increase and maintain the habitats of monarch butterflies and other at-risk species. 

Under this agreement, more than 45 companies in the energy and transportation sectors, including several EEI member companies, will provide habitat for the species along rights-of-way corridors on public and private lands across the country. The CCAA is intended to cover maintenance and modernization activities, such as vegetation management and infrastructure repairs or upgrades.

“Having clear regulatory guidance enables electric companies to site, permit, build, and operate the energy infrastructure we need to deliver the clean energy future that our customers want and expect,” said Quin Shea, EEI vice president of Environment, Natural Resources, and Occupational Safety & Health. “EEI looks forward to working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and other stakeholders, as the agency moves to implement this historic conservation agreement.” 

Development of this agreement was undertaken by the Rights-of-Way as Habitat Working Group, a program within the University of Illinois at Chicago.

If the monarch butterfly becomes a federally listed endangered species, organizations that are enrolled in the agreement will have streamlined rules for managing habitat by continuing to follow the conservation measures set forth by the CCAA. 

“This agreement between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the electric power and transportation sectors represents the single greatest conservation effort of its kind to date and is a continuation of the legacy of the electric power sector in advancing voluntary conservation practices,” said John Anderson, executive director of the Energy and Wildlife Action Coalition. 

EEI is proud to be involved in this great effort and will continue working with industry and government partners to protect the monarch butterfly and other at-risk species.