For Immediate Release
ACTION ALERT: Urge Congress to Pass the Farm Bill Now
Bill addresses Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever's top grassland and wildlife priorities
Washington, D.C. - January 28 -
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever urge Congress to support the Agricultural Act of 2014 (H.R. 2642/S.954), commonly known as the Farm Bill.
Yesterday, the House and Senate conferees reached a bipartisan agreement to move the Farm Bill forward. In fact, the House may have a vote on the Farm Bill by the end of Wednesday. After clearing the House, the bill will move to the Senate.
The bill addresses Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s top grassland and wildlife priorities including the following: •Conservation compliance connected to crop insurance.
•A regional “Sodsaver” to protect our country’s last remaining native prairies. States included are South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, and Nebraska. We are pleased to have these important tools to protect America’s last remaining virgin prairies available in these critical pheasant states right away.
•Reauthorization of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). While the total authorization of acres will gradually decrease to 24 million acres by FY18, we do have some new tools included to help us target the most environmentally sensitive acres that will best produce water, soil and wildlife benefits. In fact, one particular change to CRP will allow us to enroll up to 2 million grassland acres with no cropping history that have never been eligible for CRP enrollment historically.
•$40 million in funding for voluntary public hunting access programs (VPA-HIP).
•A new Agricultural Conservation Easement Program including provisions targeting wetlands and grasslands.
“It’s been an arduous two year road to get us to this point. I won’t pretend this Farm Bill is going to be perfect by anyone’s standards; however, it does address our core conservation concerns,” explained Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “I believe ten years from now, we’ll look at this legislation as a pivotal point in positive reform for conservation.”
Nomsen added, “I’d also like to thank leadership for bringing this important conservation policy to the finish line. Special thanks to Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Thad Cochran on the Senate side and Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson on the House side.”
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever urge our members and supporters to contact their Congressional leader in the next 24 hours to ask them to pass the 2014 Farm Bill. Let’s get this farm bill passed and begin working on returning habitat back to the landscape this spring.