[tn-bird] Farm Bill Update

  • From: Tanya_Iles@xxxxxxxx
  • To: tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 10:47:52 -0500

Thought some of you may be interested......

To:   Tanya Iles/Synthetic@Synthetic

Subject:  Farm Bill Update

In the Home Stretch - Farm Bill nears completion
You may recall that the House passed their version of the 2002 Farm Bill last
October. Now that the Senate has passed their version of the 2002 Farm Bill, the
bill now sits in a joint House-Senate Conference Committee to resolve the
differences in the two versions.
"The Senate passing a bill was a positive step because progress was made toward
completion of the Farm Bill," said Dr. Alan Wentz, Ducks Unlimited's Group
Manager for Conservation, "This brings us closer to renewal of key agriculture
conservation programs like the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetlands
Reserve Program that are very important to wildlife and to the nation's farmers
and ranchers that participate in them. Both programs are currently under-funded
and oversubscribed."
The Wetlands Reserve Program, which is helping farmers voluntarily restore a
small portion of the bottomland forests that have disappeared over the last
century, will be renewed with this legislation. The Senate's bill has 250,000
acres per year for five years. The House bill has 150,000 acres per year for ten
The Conservation Reserve Program, which helps protect highly erodible land and
creates wildlife friendly areas on private lands is also renewed in this
legislation. The House acreage is set at 39.2 million acres while the Senate
bills acreage is set at 40 million acres.
"Our country's farmers and ranchers are America's primary land stewards and we
need to support them. We are enthused that the Senate passed a strong
conservation title that will provide for those that protect the resource," said
Dr. Wentz. The majority of wetlands, an imperiled natural resource, are in
private hands. Dr. Wentz also said, "There are a number of positive steps that
both the House and Senate have taken in their respective versions and we look
forward to working with the House, Senate, as well as the administration on
putting together a comprehensive conservation title and finalizing this bill."
Both bills going to conference are supportive of the new grasslands reserve
program to help protect America's vanishing native prairie and the Wildlife
Habitat Incentives Program. Ducks Unlimited is working with various interested
parties including the agricultural sector to achieve a final bill that will
provide opportunities for wildlife and agriculture to continue to thrive
"We hope for final legislation that provides both the technical and financial
assistance farmers need to continue to provide conservation that will protect
hundreds of species of wildlife, especially the North American waterfowl
population," said Olen Zirkle, a Ducks Unlimited Regional Agricultural Lands and
Water Specialist in the western U.S.

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