Pheasants Forever Joins Conservation, Sportsmen’s Groups in Support of Sodsaver
Pheasants Forever and other hunting, fishing and conservation groups have signed on to a letter sent to the House Agriculture Committee’s key officials in support of a strong “Sodsaver” provision in the next Farm Bill.
In the letter, signed alongside approximately 30 other groups, including the American Sportfishing Association, Ducks Unlimited, Izaak Walton League of America, National Wildlife Federation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Pheasants Forever urges House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK) and ranking member Collin Peterson (MN) to adopt the Farm Bill’s Sodsaver provision to promote “responsible stewardship of agricultural land and direct program benefits to acreage that is most suited for crop production.”
Since 1985, Sodsaver has protected native grasslands and upland covers by stripping away federal subsidies for landowners who would farm them. While these lands represent important nesting areas for pheasants, ducks and other grassland birds – and more than 97 percent of the native grasslands of the U.S. have already been lost – there is increasing pressure from farm advocacy groups to weaken or remove the provision.
Strengthened Sodsaver, or Non-cropland Conversion Provisions, are a top priority for Pheasants Forever during the current Farm Bill debate. Stronger provisions would help conserve one of America’s most iconic and threatened ecosystems: our native grasslands, and would save taxpayer dollars and conserve critical habitat while maintaining farmers’ abilities to manage their lands as they see fit.
The Senate farm bill approved by the bipartisan Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee on April 26 includes a Sodsaver provision sponsored by Senators John Thune (SD) and Mike Johanns (NE). The House is expected to examine Sodsaver after the Memorial Day weekend. Pheasants Forever and its conservation partners have been meeting with policy makers on the House Agriculture Committee on the importance of this provision and Pheasants Forever’s wildlife habitat conservation mission.
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