Each fall, monarch butterflies in the western United States migrate to the coast of California, and the City of Goleta is one of their favorite locations to roost during winter. The City is preparing a Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan for the over-wintering sites located on the Ellwood Mesa. This plan is intended to document existing habitat conditions, identify low impact habitat improvement strategies to promote the long-term stability of the butterfly population, implement related policies in the City’s General Plan and the Ellwood Mesa Open Space Plan and support community awareness of butterflies and their habitat.
The City hosted a public workshop in February 2011 to garner input on the development of the plan. A second public workshop was hosted by the City in November 2012 to present the draft plan and proposed habitat management concepts. Community members were able to learn about the plan and dialogue with City staff and the butterfly consultants who helped create the plan. The draft plan is now in its final stages of revision. The Goleta City Council will receive a status report on the development of the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Plan in early 2013. Environmental review and permitting will follow in 2013.