DU Applauds Congress, President for Signing Conservation Bill

Bill Provides Funds to Implement Conservation Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 28, 2004---Ducks Unlimited applauds Congress and President Bush for reaffirming their commitment to the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) by signing into law Senate Bill 2856. The legislation ends a two-year stalemate between congressional agriculture policy leaders and budget experts.

The bill more clearly defines the intent of the 2002 Farm Bill by resolving the conflicting interpretations of the Conservation Title’s funding for technical assistance, thereby terminating the need for certain conservation programs to cover costs for the implementation of others.

For the past two years, Ducks Unlimited has worked aggressively with the agriculture and wildlife communities along with policy experts on Capitol Hill to find a long-term solution to technical assistance funding for CRP and WRP. Bipartisan efforts to enact the bill were led by Senators Cochran (R-MS), Harkin (D-IA), and Leahy (D-VT) and Representative Lucas (R-OK).

"There were times when the future of WRP and CRP were both in jeopardy," explains Don Young, Executive Vice President. "We’re thrilled that President Bush and Congress have solved this problem. The solution is a win-win for landowners and wildlife."

With more than a million supporters, Duck Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands—nature’s most productive ecosystem—and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year.

Contact: Laura Houseal
(901) 758-3764