After years of work since the Farm Bill of 2008 expired, Congress has passed a comprehensive bill that includes strong provisions for conservation and sportsmen.
The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act, or 2014 Farm Bill, includes key conservation components that benefit the country’s wildlife and natural resources as well as our sporting heritage.
While the Conservation Title of this Farm Bill is smaller, it consolidates and simplifies programs. A key provision of this bill ties crop insurance to conservation compliance and ensures we are farming the best tillable ground and protecting highly erodible and wetland acreage. This bill also includes a Sodsaver program that discourages farmers from tilling sensitive native grassland habitats in areas of the country; it provides dedicated funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program; extends stewardship contracting; creates mandatory funding for thinning and burning on Conservation Reserve Program lands as well as mandatory funding for voluntary hunter access program, such as the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentives Program, which will receive $40 million of guaranteed funding; and enhance forestry provisions that strengthen forest management across the United States.
“We are extremely pleased with the Conservation Title in this Farm Bill,” said Becky Humphries, executive vice president of conservation for the National Wild Turkey Federation. “We applaud the work of Chairwoman Stabenow and Chairman Lucas to write and pass a farm bill that is simpler, more streamlined, but provides key provisions for good conservation.”
Logo courtesy National Wild Turkey Federation