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PF Members Lay Out Conservation Priorities in D.C.

Last week, Pheasants Forever leadership and chapter members met with legislators in Washington, D.C. to voice support for critical 2013 conservation initiatives across our country’s landscape.

A contingent of Pheasants Forever staff and members met with U.S. Senators and House Representatives from Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio and Colorado to garner focused support for Protect our Prairies legislation, and the passage a five-year Farm Bill capable of delivering a suite of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) voluntary incentive-based private lands conservation programs.

D.C.

Illinois Pheasants Forever members, from left, Kevin Bennett, Keith Zoeller and Tom Rogers made the case for conservation in the nation’s capital.

Pheasants Forever members included:

Colorado: Riley Dubbert , Deeann Dubbert, and Bruce Rosenbach, all from Holyoke

Minnesota: Chad Bloom, Pheasants Forever Southern Minnesota Regional Representative; Jeremy Berg of New Ulm and Marty Wallin of Pipestone

Illinois: Aaron Kuehl, Pheasants Forever Director of Conservation Programs; Kevin Bennett of Godfrey, Tom Rogers of Maroa and Keith Zoeller of Sterling

Ohio: Jim Inglis, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever Governmental Affairs Representative, John Beal of Findlay and Bob DeSanto of Ashland

Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio and Colorado are vital states for conservation initiatives, and there is no better voice to speak for conservation programs than those landowners who use the programs in those states on a daily basis. Landowners, farmers and conservationists are an integral part of the land and the U.S. economy, and to give them the opportunity to showcase real-world land management experience and speak to the importance of programs - like the Conservation Reserve Program - is invaluable for the future health and well-being of these conservation programs.

A major facet of the meetings was to inform policy makers of the necessity of a five-year Federal Farm Bill. The current 2008 Federal Farm Bill extension is a temporary patch which is set to expire in 2013. Without the passage of a healthy Farm Bill by Congress, our nation’s natural resources and rural economic viability will suffer.

In addition, members were asked to lend their support for Protect our Prairies legislation. This legislation, introduced by Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN) and Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD), would reduce crop insurance assistance for the first four years for crops grown on native sod and certain grasslands converted to cropland.

The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.

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