Senate is next hurdle
July 27, 2007, 4:45 PM EDT - Great news! Thanks to the collective efforts of you, our DU supporters, a strong voice from conservation was heard in Congress. The amendments that potentially would have hurt conservation were pulled back without being offered. This is a wonderful outcome.
Your phone calls to Capitol Hill registered concern about an amendment from Congressman Berry (AR) that would have limited participation by on-the-ground conservation by groups like DU. Your calls also opposed an amendment expected from Rep. Goodlatte (VA), which would have placed unnecessary tax burdens on landowners conserving their land.
This bill will serve as a strong starting point for the next step in this process – consideration of the farm bill in the Senate Agriculture Committee. We will continue to press for DU’s farm bill goals and fend off harmful proposals.
The House-passed version of the farm bill has several attributes for wildlife conservation:
- Wetlands Reserve Program: $1.6 billion were added to fully fund WRP through 2012. An appraisal issue that discouraged landowners from utilizing WRP is being improved and new payment limits for conservation will not apply to WRP, improving this program for waterfowl and landowners.
- Sodsaver: A provision that creates new protection for native prairie (important nesting grounds) adds safeguards for America’s most fragile ecosystem.
- Conservation Reserve Program: Was maintained at 39.2 million acres – a strong starting point that DU will use to continue a dialogue to ensure that the Prairie Pothole Region’s “duck factory” is made a national priority area for this incredibly effective program.
- Grasslands Reserve Program: $1 billion were added to provide incentives to protect native grasslands for waterfowl breeding habitat.
Next step --the farm bill will go to the Senate Agriculture Committee. As we move forward DU will continue to need your help in contacting Senators to make sure they include strong support for WRP and other conservation programs essential to waterfowl and landowners.
Thank you for your support – this victory proves our actions and advocacy are making a difference for the ducks!