My husband and I walk a one mile stretch of Holstein Rd. between Sheboygan Road and County Highway H almost everyday. There are no houses on this road and we enjoy the abundance of native plants, especially the common milkweed. My husband has fond memories of collecting milkweed pods during World War II. A few days ago we happily noticed a scattering of the less common red milkweed. They were blooming beautifully and I even took photos of them. Late this AM a county-approved tractor mowed down both sides of "our" road. I made several phone calls and was told the reason for mowing was to prevent deer from hiding and then running into the road, causing accidents. This makes no sense to me. Is there a study with statistics documenting this? Milkweed is the ONLY known food source for the monarch butterfly caterpillar. No milkweeds=No monarchs. No question. With so little habitat to begin with, these thin strips of roadside habitat are all we have left over much of our countryside! In addition to seasonally destroying caterpillar food creating yet another year of depressed reproduction, we also impact habitat for fledgling grassland birds. We take this issue very seriously. Please, let's think about the delicate balance of Nature and this senseless destruction of native plants - it affects us all.
Let's Ditch the Ditch Mowing!!