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U.S. House of Representatives Fail to Deliver 2012 Farm Bill

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.

This will be the fate of many of the CRP acres expiring this autumn, a loss of wildlife habitat only exacerbated by the House’s inaction on a new Farm Bill. Photo by Matt Morlock / Pheasants Forever

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.

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3 Responses to “U.S. House of Representatives Fail to Deliver 2012 Farm Bill”

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  1. In the last 24 hours, over 70,000 people have called the NFL to complain about a missed call. Imagine if we could get 70,000 people to call their representatives in Congress and complain about millions of acres of missing CRP?!?

  2. Vicki Vick says:

    Mr. Simonson states the problem quite succinctly.
    The StarTrib carried an article on Sunday, the 23rd, entitled The Vanishing Prairie. It also indicated that the common man could care less about the loss of this important, ecological resource.
    I’ve written countless letters to my Senators, but the morass continues. Any other suggestions short of Civil Disobedience? I’m losing Hope.

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