b'Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) NRCS programs include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Agricultural Conservation NRCS is working with farmers in Illinois to combat theEasement Program (ACEP), and Conservation decline of monarch butterflies by planting milkweed andStewardship Program (CSP). These three programs, other nectar-rich plants on private lands. NRCS conservationfunded through the Farm Bill, are the largest funding source practices that benefit monarch butterflies and other insectsfor wildlife habitat conservation on private lands. also help reduce erosion, increase soil health, control invasive species, provide quality forage for livestock,EQIPand make agricultural operations more resilient andIn FY 2014, NRCS began including wildlife conservation productive. NRCS provides technical and financial assistancecomponents into the EQIP program and 403 acres to implement these practices, helping farmers improvewere enrolled. In 2015, there were 388 acres added to working lands and strengthen rural economies.the program and 69 acres were added in 2016. Also Technical assistance is free to land managers, and staffin 2016, NRCS created specific pollinator and monarch and conservation partners work side-by-side with landenhancements to EQIP projects. That year, 20 contracts managers interested in conserving monarchs to develop awere signed for 66 acres. In 2017, 138 acres were enrolled custom conservation plan. These plans provide a roadmapin wildlife habitat conservation, and 21 more contracts were of conservation practices to meet natural resource goals.signed to enhance 139 acres for the benefit of pollinators Participants plant milkweed and nectar-rich plants alongand monarchs. field borders, in buffers along waterways or around wetlands, in pastures, and other suitable locations.Following an NRCS monarch conservation plan provides farmers with the opportunity to acquire regulatory predictability from the FWS, due to the NRCS embarking on and completing a Section 7 Conference Report with FWS in 2016. Such predictability provides future certainty regarding managing those lands in the event that the monarch becomes federally protected under the ESA. Section 7 Conference Reports and Consultations will be extremely important in the future as the Farm Bill and other federal programs continue to target wildlife conservation.18Agricultures Successes in Sustaining Monarchs'