Congress decisively passed the 2014 Farm Bill with strong bipartisan votes in the House of Representatives and Senate – and the bill is a big win for wetlands conservation.
“This bill includes proactive and common sense conservation programs that will help deter wetland and other habitat loss, incentivize habitat conservation and keep working farmers and ranchers on their land,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “DU is thankful to the House and Senate Agriculture Committee leadership for never losing sight of these end goals. This farm bill is the best for conservation that we’ve seen in many years, and that is due in large part to our conservation champion, Chairwoman Stabenow.”
The 2014 Farm Bill includes the conservation and sporting community’s top priorities of re-coupling conservation compliance to crop insurance and a Sodsaver program affecting the top duck producing states of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Due in part to the unintended consequences of past agriculture policy and advanced technology, the United States has lost more than 70 percent of the nation’s native grasslands and 50 percent of its wetlands. The conservation provisions included in the 2014 Farm Bill are designed to encourage the conservation of our nation’s remaining wetlands and grasslands, which help keep our waters clean, prevent soil erosion and provide vital habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.
The farm bill’s incentive-based conservation programs benefit wildlife, ranchers and farmers, the environment, wildlife-associated recreation and the vital industries that support that recreation. These programs boost rural economies and allow working farmers and ranchers to deliver affordable food in environmentally sustainable ways. They also provide the foundation for a multi-billion dollar outdoor recreation industry that provides jobs for many thousands of Americans – local, stable jobs that can’t be lost to outsourcing overseas.