The Farm Bill is currently being debated in the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and on May 17, expansion of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) came under attack.
CRP has been one of the most successful programs to benefit wildlife and natural resources in the nation, and it is allowed under the Farm Bill that must be renewed every four or five years.
The current Farm Bill expires in 2018.
Currently legislation caps CRP (where landowners agree not to grow crops and in return must put the land in either grassland or tree habitat) at 24 million acres. The resulting habitat is a boon for wildlife and helps to improve water quality and reduce erosion.
The proposed expansion of CRP in the House of Representatives draft of the new Farm Bill would allow CRP to be expanded by 1 million acres each year for five years, which would allow 29 million acres to be in CRP at the end of five years.
However, according to Dave Nomsen, legislative coordinator for Pheasants Forever, Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Alabama) is introducing an amendment on May 17 that would eliminate expansion of CRP.
Any Wisconsin hunters, trappers, and anglers who care about the welfare of pheasants, waterfowl, and other wildlife species and who realize the importance of habitat to wildlife would do well to contact Rep. Rogers’ office (202-225-3261) and tell him that they support expansion of CRP and he should withhold his amendment.
It also wouldn’t hurt to contact your Wisconsin congressional representatives to show your support for continuing and increasing CRP in the next Farm Bill.