A long-term project that tracks the population of butterflies in the mountain meadows of the North Cascades has received $40,000 through Washington’s National Park Fund.
The project is a citizen science program that uses volunteers to monitor butterflies in North Cascades National Park, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount Rainier National Park, and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
Butterflies are sensitive indicators of climate change because temperature affects their growth and geographic distribution as well as the flowering patterns of the plants they depend on, organizers said.
People and organizations donate to the fund, which is used for North Cascades, Olympic and Mount Rainier national parks projects that wouldn’t otherwise get money.
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The dollars are used to advance science and research, strengthen programs for youth and families, improve visitors’ experiences, and build volunteerism and stewardship, according to a fund news release.