Monarch Conservation Program

Save our Monarchs

Creating habitat on working lands is critical to protecting the imperiled monarch butterfly. Farmers and ranchers can play a huge role in the conservation of the monarch butterfly by creating habitat!
Monarchs in the West have declined to less than 1% of their population just 20 years ago. Researchers have laid out a 5-step plan to protect monarchs:

  1. Protect and manage California overwintering sites
  2. Restore breeding and migratory habitat in California
  3. Protect monarchs and their habitat from pesticides
  4. Protect, manage, and restore summer breeding and fall migration monarch habitat outside of California
  5. Answer key research questions about how to best aid western monarch recovery

Above photo of rancher collecting milkweed seed: D. Benner

Pollinators such as bees and butterflies are fundamental in agriculture, providing important ecosystem services that increase the health of plants and crops. Habitat for pollinators has decreased on a global scale, leading to a decrease in species quantity and health. Contra Costa RCD is currently exploring a variety of options, including roadside plantings to increase habitat availability. For more information or to get involved, please contact Lisa Damerel at

Contra Costa RCD staff work with farmers and ranchers to address farm issues through management practices that also sequester carbon dioxide, providing a number of benefits to the farm, and the community. If you're interested in developing a carbon farm plan for your operation, please contact Lisa Damerel.

Lisa Damerel

Watershed Conservation Manager



Lisa Damerel

Skills: Horticulture, CA native plants, invasive plant management, pollinators, environmental education, project management, grant writing

Fun Fact: Enjoys birding, photography, knitting, flower arranging, and traveling

Lisa Damerel

Lisa serves as Watershed Conservation Manager for the Walnut Creek Watershed, she facilitates the Contra Costa Watershed Forum, and she leads the CCRCD’s Monarch Conservation Program. She joined the CCRCD’s staff in January 2019. She has worked on a range of projects to conserve Contra Costa County's watersheds and biodiversity including native plant establishment, pollinator habitat establishment, invasive plant management, environmental education programming, and creek restoration.

Lisa is from Los Angeles and has a BA with Honors in English from the University of California at Berkeley. She earned a Professional Sequence in Editing certificate from UC Berkeley Extension and worked in publishing for 10 years, primarily editing educational materials including science textbooks and curricula.

Her passion for nature led her back to school to study horticulture at Diablo Valley College where she earned a Nursery Technician certificate. She likes hiking with friends and family, eating chocolate, watching baseball, and creating beautiful things.