Help Save the Conservation Reserve Program
Washington, DC –-(AmmoLand.com)-We have reached the most critical juncture in the history of the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), undoubtedly the most successful conservation program in modern times. Since 2005, over 4.2 million acres have expired, and over the next five years, another 21 million more acres are slated to expire. That makes participating in the public comment period and public meetings about CRP in September and October the most significant action you can take as a Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever supporter this autumn.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) has asked the public for comments on the Conservation Reserve Program and scheduled nine public meetings from September 15 through October 8 to solicit comments on the program. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have identified a platform of three action items to communicate during the public comment period and at the public meetings.
Immediate Need for a New CRP General Signup
Currently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has no plans for a new CRP general signup to re-enroll or replace expiring acres.
“The stated intent of this public comment period is to find ways to make the Conservation Reserve Program more effective for producers, and increase the environmental and wildlife benefits of the program,” said Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever's Vice President of Government Affairs, “Those goals are unachievable without a new CRP general signup.”
1 Million SAFE Acres
Conservation Practice 38, better known as the State Acres For wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program, allows states to cater CRP to specifically address key wildlife and habitat needs within a state. Currently, there are over 200,000 acres enrolled in SAFE nationally, and the USDA has established a goal of 500,000 acres for the program. But demand for SAFE acres in states such as South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska has been so strong that they are at or near their initial SAFE acreage guideline. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are pushing for an additional 500,000 acres nationwide for the program based upon strong interest and demand for SAFE in multiple states.
“A 1-million-acre SAFE program is the progressive step needed to maintain the strength of CRP and create critical habitat for wildlife,” Nomsen said.
Double Bobwhite Quail Buffers Program
Conservation Practice 33, or “Bobwhite Buffers,” establishes the edge habitat along fields, streams and woods that bobwhite quail need. Currently, there are over 200,000 acres enrolled nationally, and USDA has established a goal of 250,000 acres for the program.
“This program has been a resounding success and has proven to increase bobwhite quail populations where acres exist. But to realistically push the bobwhite beyond its current near-threatened status, the USDA needs to allocate additional acres for this important quail program,” added Nomsen.
Public Comments on CRP Due by October 19, 2009
- Email comments to [email protected]
- Submit comments online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov
- Mail comments to: CRP SEIS, c/o TEC Inc., 8 San Jose Dr., Suite 3-B, Newport News, VA 23606
- Fax comments to: (757) 594-1469
DON'T LET THE sun set on the Conservation Reserve Program! Make your voice heard at public meetings or submit comments online!
CRP Public Meeting Schedule
Sept. 15, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn
Sept. 17, from 5 – 7 p.m.
Great Falls, Mont.
Sept. 21, from 5 – 7 p.m.
AmericInn Lodge and Suites
Sept. 23, from 5 – 7 p.m.
Sept. 25, from 5 – 7 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn
Sept. 29, from 5 – 7 p.m.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Oct. 1, from 5 – 7 p.m.
La Quinta Inn and Suites
Oct. 6, from 5 – 7 p.m.
Hilton Garden Inn
Oct. 8, from 5 – 7 p.m.
Courtyard by Marriott
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever are non-profit conservation organizations dedicated to the protection and enhancement of pheasant, quail, and other wildlife populations in North America through habitat improvement, land management, public awareness, and education. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 125,000 members in 750 local chapters across the continent.
For additional information about Pheasants Forever, please visit www.PheasantsForever.org