WASHINGTON D.C. -(Ammoland.com)- The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies applauds the confirmation of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as the 31st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture who was sworn in this week with a favorable 87-11 vote.
The newly confirmed Secretary Perdue will lead the Department of Agriculture (USDA) which oversees land and water conservation on private lands and operation of the U.S. Forest Service, as well as the nation’s food and farm programs.
Perhaps most importantly, Perdue will contribute to the debate around the reauthorizing the Farm Bill, set to expire in 2018.
“As a farmer, sportsman, and former governor, Secretary Perdue knows first-hand the value of voluntary, incentive-based conservation on private lands and the importance of conservation to landowners, sportsmen and women, and society as a whole,” said Nick Wiley, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “We are excited about this opportunity for the USDA and U.S. Forest Service to work collaboratively with state fish and wildlife agencies and private landowners, which is essential to achieving fish and wildlife conservation objectives and goals.”
The Farm Bill, which includes approximately $5 billion for private lands conservation, has a broad-reaching effect on fish and wildlife populations and habitats.
The conservation programs implemented by the USDA will play a vital role in generating multiple benefits for society, providing clean air, improved water quality, and healthier soil, and protecting and enhancing habitat quality for wildlife and pollinators, all while sustaining rural communities and keeping farmers, ranchers, and forest owners on the land.
With seventy percent of the land in the contiguous United States under private ownership, the voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs implemented by USDA directly affect states’ ability to manage public trust resources.
“The Association stands ready to work with Secretary Perdue on continuing to improve implementation of the current Farm Bill, as well as passing a 2018 Farm Bill with strong conservation programs and provisions that promote healthy fish, wildlife, and habitats from which all Americans benefit,” said Executive Director Ron Regan.
About The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies:
The Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies represents North America’s fish and wildlife agencies to advance sound, science-based management and conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in the public interest. The Association represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration to advance favorable fish and wildlife conservation policy and funding and works to ensure that all entities work collaboratively on the most important issues. The Association also provides member agencies with coordination services on cross-cutting as well as species-based programs that range from birds, fish habitat and energy development to climate change, wildlife action plans, conservation education, leadership training and international relations. Working together, the Association’s member agencies are ensuring that North American fish and wildlife management has a clear and collective voice.