Posts Tagged ‘Soil Bank’

Habitat Loss Obvious, New Farm Bill a Necessity

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Hunting five states in five days as part of the 2012 Rooster Road Trip is accompanied by a lot of windshield time.  Time spent traveling two-tracks, tar roads and interstate highways.  Time spent looking at the landscape.  And one fact is depressingly obvious through our travels; America’s wildlife habitat is disappearing.

Native prairie habitat has been under assault in the Dakotas. Photo by Matt Morlock / Pheasants Forever

Black tile litters fields by the mile, sloughs are burning under plumes of gray smoke, and CRP lands have already been tilled in preparation of spring planting.  Our fathers’ remember the end of the Soil Bank when fencerows and ditches were removed.  We’ve all heard those stories and the joy CRP brought back to America’s pheasant fields.  As I drive, I can’t help but wonder how much corn the human race could possibly need and if we’re on the road to repeating our own tragic habitat loss history. On the Rooster Road, it’s painfully obvious to me that history is indeed repeating.  There is too much proof beyond the windshield to deny that fact.

In the last year alone, 6.5 million acres of CRP expired from contracts with most of those acres leaving the program for the plow.  6.5 million acres of habitat homes for all varieties of wildlife.  6.5 million acres filtering our waters, mitigating flooding and keeping our under-appreciated soil in in place on the ground.  Without a new Farm Bill during the last session of Congress, CRP and all of America’s federal conservation programs hang in limbo.

So as a new class of Washington leaders prepare to transition in and out of elected offices, Pheasants Forever urges the 2012 Congress to finish the job of a 2012 Farm Bill.  Our nation’s wildlife is too important to our way of life for habitat to continue to hemorrhage from our landscape under this generation’s watch.

A burning cattail slough filled the South Dakota sky with smoke today.

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

Desperate Days for CRP

Monday, October 10th, 2011

I hope you received our important Action Alert last week asking pheasant hunters and Pheasants Forever supporters to immediately contact your two U.S. Senators and one U.S. Representative about making CRP reauthorization a top Congressional priority.  I can’t stress enough how important your email voice is in today’s battle to save America’s benchmark conservation program.

Is the Conservation Reserve Program headed the way of the Soil Bank?

I have worked in Washington, D.C. on conservation programs and CRP since its 1985 beginnings.  I’ve never, ever, seen the program’s future so grim.  There are proposals to slash CRP’s current 32 million-acre baseline in half . . . or worse.  I don’t need to tell you what a loss of that magnitude would mean to pheasants, quail, flood prevention, water quality and hunting access.  “DEVASTATING” is the word that rings in my mind.

I recognize we do need to reduce federal spending, but we need to be wise about our conservation cuts.  If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines of this battle for conservation in the past, it’s critical that you get in the game now.  Your future and your children’s future of days spent in the field together with bird dogs and flushing roosters hangs in the balance.

This is my personal plea; please, please contact your two U.S. Senators and one U.S. Representative about making CRP reauthorization a top Congressional priority today.  If you get a response back, please drop me an email message with the feedback you receive at dnomsen@pheasantsforever.org.  Please don’t let CRP be this generation’s Soil Bank program of days gone by.

Thank You!

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