Pheasants, quail and other upland wildlife depend on over 50 million U.S. acres enrolled in federal conservation programs. Packaged into a piece of legislation called the Farm Bill, this backbone of private lands conservation is renewed every five years. The current bill expires at the end of September 2012, and your help is needed to get Congress to pass the next Farm Bill.
Earlier this summer, a new Farm Bill passed the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee with bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the bill has stalled in the House of Representatives. In limbo are programs that greatly benefit wildlife, including an entire suite of Natural Resources Conservation Service programs (long-term easement programs like the Wetlands Reserve Program) and working lands programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Programs. The Farm Service Agency’s Conservation Reserve Program and voluntary access programs for sportsmen - that provide abundant wildlife and hunting access to those lands - also hang in the balance. This summer’s disastrous drought has only magnified the need to maintain the Farm Bill’s strong conservation title.
When you contact your Representative, let them know how Farm Bill conservation programs are important to you and your family. Tell them you support:
- Conservation programs such as CRP and WRP that create habitat for wildlife.
- Voluntary access programs important to your annual hunting trips with family and friends.
- Working lands conservation programs that support your farm, ranch and/or community.
- Conservation programs which support jobs in rural America.
To learn how to contact your Representative, visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
—courtesy Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever