Posts Tagged ‘Wetlands Reserve Program’
Monday, October 1st, 2012
Last Saturday, I attended the Rally for Iowa’s Outdoor Legacy held in Des Moines. The event was designed to promote awareness for the importance of wildlife conservation in the midst of the highly charged agricultural production environment we’re living through these days. After all, outdoor recreation including hunting and fishing, are a big part of the quality of life in Iowa and across rural America.
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack spoke at the luncheon. As part of his address, Secretary Vilsack announced the state-specific reallocations of 400,000 acres for the Conservation Reserve Program’s wildlife-targeting SAFE (State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement) practice. In fact, 50,000 of those acres were allocated to Iowa.
Unfortunately, this reallocation comes with one enormous asterisk*. As of today, October 1st, all new CRP and WRP enrollments have ground to a halt because of the U.S. House of Representative’s failure to act on a Farm Bill this year.
According to Wikipedia, Black Monday in the world of finance refers to Monday October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world crashed, shedding a huge value in a very short time. In the world of wildlife conservation, October 1, 2012 can equally be referenced as Black Monday. As of midnight last night, the 2008 Farm Bill officially ended. Beginning today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ability to enroll landowners in new CRP or new WRP contracts has been paralyzed. Additionally, 6.5 Million acres of Conservation Reserve Program lands expired last night. Again, there are no current options for re-enrollment or sign-up in alternative programs. Our elected officials have failed. It’s plain, simple and infuriating.
That’s where you come in. Before you head afield in the coming weeks, please check your own U.S. Rep’s position on the Farm Bill. Your turn to make your voice for conservation heard comes in a month when we all exercise our right to vote. Make your vote count for conservation this November 6th. Thanks for your help and good hunting.
The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.
Friday, September 21st, 2012
I’ve just returned home from Washington, D.C. where the Farm Bill remains a game of political football. Continuing with the analogy, this week the U.S. House Representatives took a knee at halftime, took the ball with them into the locker room and has decided they aren’t going to act on Farm Bill legislation till after the election. A sad statement of affairs, considering the House Agriculture Committee passed a Farm Bill earlier this summer that is simply awaiting floor time in front of the full House.
The political shenanigans aside, this spells trouble for wildlife, water, and hunters. Of particular concern are hunters’ most cherished conservation programs; including, the Conservation Reserve and Wetlands Reserve programs. As of now, all conservation program enrollments have been shut down beginning on October 1st. Even Continuous CRP practices, in conflict with their very definition, will halt this coming Oct. 1st.
This is particularly bad news for the millions of hunters headed afield in the next few weeks, especially in areas of the northern plains and the drought stricken regions of the country. Wildlife need habitat acres more than ever under these strangling weather conditions and the House’s inaction spells massive problems in light of the 6.5 million acres of CRP also expiring at month’s end.
The lone bright spot in D.C. is Senator Jon Tester’s introduction of The Sportmen’s Act (S. 3525), a bill that contains a number of great programs for sportsmen and sportswomen; including, the reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and reauthorization of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. I had a chance to discuss this Act with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar. Senator Klobuchar pledged to co-sponsor the legislation and do everything possible to move the bill forward. Please help by asking your Senators to step up as well.
The D.C. Minute is written by Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Government Relations.
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
While spring is seemingly having a hard time “springing” in most parts of pheasant country, summer can’t be far off. In fact, the Summer 2011 issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal of Upland Conservation mails today.
The first thing readers will notice is the original cover artwork. The Brittany pup was created by Atlanta, Georgia, artist Peggy Watkins, and represents the first time since the Winter 2008 issue that art has appeared on the cover. Prior to that, artwork last appeared on the cover for the Fall 2002 issue.
Now back to the Brittany. Making its first appearance on the Pheasants Forever Journal cover in 5 years, the Brit is representing all sporting dog breeds, as this issue contains a Sporting Dog Special Section. Check it out for training tips (especially timely if you’re the lucky owner of a new pup) and new bird dog gear.
In addition to a pheasant hunting photo essay, upland hunters will also enjoy Pheasants Forever Journal Editor Mark Herwig’s entry “Woodcock Conservation” about hunting and getting to know the American Woodcock (a thicker preview can be found at Mark’s blog). There are some surprising similarities between woodcock and pheasants, which is why it makes the grade for the pheasant publication.
Finally, conservation policy wonks can dig in to “Celebrating CRP’s 25th Anniversary” and “Will WRP Survive Congressional Cuts?” These programs – the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) – do as much for pheasants and pheasant hunters as any, so if you aren’t already, this is a prime opportunity to become familiar.
The next issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal will be the highly anticipated Pheasant Hunting Preview edition slated for later this summer. Don’t miss an issue, so if it’s time to join or renew your Pheasants Forever membership, call toll free at (877) 773-2070 or do so right here at the Pheasants Forever website.
Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor