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Pheasants Forever (PF) strongly supports the Conservation Title in the Farm Bill

July 26, 2007
Press Release

Bill contains significant conservation provisions

Washington, D.C. ñ July 24, 2007 ñ Pheasants Forever (PF) strongly supports the Conservation Title in the Farm Bill passed last week by the U.S. House Ag Committee. PF views the bill as a strong starting point favorable to Americaís farmers, ranchers, hunters and anglers.

The bill (H.R. 2419) extends and improves significant conservation programs including the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP), and it improves hunter access and wildlife habitat through the "Open Fields" provision.

"This bill provides a solid foundation for conservation," said Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever's Vice President of Government Affairs, "Many critical conservation priorities have been addressed, and the bill provides a strong revenue stream for Americaís farmers and ranchers, thus ensuring we can be successful implementing the many voluntary incentive-based conservation programs."

"The House Ag Committee has shown it considers the Farm Bill's Conservation Title to be extremely important not only to this country's wildlife and natural resources, but to all of Americaís farmers and ranchers that have enrolled in conservation programs and the sportsmen and women whoíve experienced the results each fall across Americaís pheasant fields," Nomsen said, "We thank House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Ranking Minority Member Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) for their commitment to this crucial legislation."

Major conservation provisions in the bill include:

ï The reauthorization of CRP at its current level of 39.2 million acres. Maintaining CRP - the most successful conservation program in U.S. history ñ is crucial for the continued success of pheasant, quail and other wildlife populations.

ï New provisions for "Open Fields" that would provide $20 million to help fund and augment state-managed, voluntary sportsmenís access initiatives, often called ìwalk-inî programs. Walk-in programs are great not just because they provide for improved public access to private lands, but also because in most cases they require those lands be managed to optimize their value to fish and wildlife

ï It provides $1.6 billion to re-establish WRP, and the expansion of WRP to a new nationwide cap of 3.6 million acres. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Secretary has the authority to enroll 250,000 acres per year.

ï A new baseline for GRP - up to 1 million acres.

ï A new Regional Watershed Enhancement Program (RWEP) that allows Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to administer conservation practices.

ï New provisions disallowing crop insurance on newly converted native prairies ñ Sod Saver.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Farm Bill before the end of July. Now is the time for Americaís conservationists to act.

The 2007 Farm Bill will address land management decisions on over 50 million acres and the bill going to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives would ensure the creation and protection of wildlife habitat, soil resources, water quality, and our outdoor hunting heritage.

Pheasants Forever strongly encourages you to contact your U.S.

Representatives

( http://www.pheasantsforever.org/page/LegislativeAction ) immediately and urge them to pass the Farm Bill (H.R. 2419). Help Pheasants Forever and future generations by being an active supporter of this country's wildlife and natural resources and relay your support of this bill.

Bill contains significant conservation provisions

Washington, D.C. ñ July 24, 2007 ñ Pheasants Forever (PF) strongly supports the Conservation Title in the Farm Bill passed last week by the U.S. House Ag Committee. PF views the bill as a strong starting point favorable to Americaís farmers, ranchers, hunters and anglers.

The bill (H.R. 2419) extends and improves significant conservation programs including the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP), Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP), and it improves hunter access and wildlife habitat through the "Open Fields" provision.

"This bill provides a solid foundation for conservation," said Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever's Vice President of Government Affairs, "Many critical conservation priorities have been addressed, and the bill provides a strong revenue stream for Americaís farmers and ranchers, thus ensuring we can be successful implementing the many voluntary incentive-based conservation programs."

"The House Ag Committee has shown it considers the Farm Bill's Conservation Title to be extremely important not only to this country's wildlife and natural resources, but to all of Americaís farmers and ranchers that have enrolled in conservation programs and the sportsmen and women whoíve experienced the results each fall across Americaís pheasant fields," Nomsen said, "We thank House Ag Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Ranking Minority Member Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) for their commitment to this crucial legislation."

Major conservation provisions in the bill include:

ï The reauthorization of CRP at its current level of 39.2 million acres. Maintaining CRP - the most successful conservation program in U.S. history ñ is crucial for the continued success of pheasant, quail and other wildlife populations.

ï New provisions for "Open Fields" that would provide $20 million to help fund and augment state-managed, voluntary sportsmenís access initiatives, often called ìwalk-inî programs. Walk-in programs are great not just because they provide for improved public access to private lands, but also because in most cases they require those lands be managed to optimize their value to fish and wildlife

ï It provides $1.6 billion to re-establish WRP, and the expansion of WRP to a new nationwide cap of 3.6 million acres. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Secretary has the authority to enroll 250,000 acres per year.

ï A new baseline for GRP - up to 1 million acres.

ï A new Regional Watershed Enhancement Program (RWEP) that allows Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to administer conservation practices.

ï New provisions disallowing crop insurance on newly converted native prairies ñ Sod Saver.

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the Farm Bill before the end of July. Now is the time for Americaís conservationists to act.

The 2007 Farm Bill will address land management decisions on over 50 million acres and the bill going to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives would ensure the creation and protection of wildlife habitat, soil resources, water quality, and our outdoor hunting heritage.

Pheasants Forever strongly encourages you to contact your U.S.

Representatives

( http://www.pheasantsforever.org/page/LegislativeAction ) immediately and urge them to pass the Farm Bill (H.R. 2419). Help Pheasants Forever and future generations by being an active supporter of this country's wildlife and natural resources and relay your support of this bill.

 


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