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Farm Bill conferee recognized with 2014 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award

Rep. Kristi Noem (SD), a member of the 2014 Farm Bill conference committee and champion of Sodsaver, was presented with the Senior Federal Official 2014 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award yesterday.

CPC members met with legislators before final farm bill vote

The Conservation Programs Committee held their February 2014 meeting in Washington, D.C., and the timing ended up being perfect.

2014 Farm Bill includes top sportsmen’s priorities

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.

Senate passes 2014 Farm Bill, ending three-year struggle

WASHINGTON – Feb. 4, 2014 – Today the U.S. Senate passed the 2014 Farm Bill with a decisive vote of 68-32, sending it to the president’s desk.

2014 Farm Bill passes the House

WASHINGTON – Jan. 29, 2014 – The House of Representatives passed the 2014 Farm Bill with a bipartisan vote of 251-166. The bill includes the conservation and sporting community's top priorities of re-coupling conservation compliance to crop insurance and a Sodsaver program affecting top duck-producing states.

farm bill South Dakota

Jan. 28, 2014 – After months of intense negotiations, the Farm Bill conference committee released their report yesterday on the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill now heads to the House and Senate for confirmation, and Ducks Unlimited is encouraged by the report and supportive of its passage in both houses.

farm bill Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS – Jan. 28, 2014 – After months of intense negotiations, the farm bill conference committee released their report today on the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill now heads to the House and Senate for confirmation, and Ducks Unlimited is encouraged by the report and supportive of its passage in both houses.

farm bill New York

SYRACUSE – Jan. 28, 2014 – After months of intense negotiations, the farm bill conference committee released their report today on the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill now heads to the House and Senate for confirmation, and Ducks Unlimited is encouraged by the report and supportive of its passage in both houses.

farm bill Vermont

MONTPELIER – Jan. 28, 2014 – After months of intense negotiations, the farm bill conference committee released their report today on the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill now heads to the House and Senate for confirmation, and Ducks Unlimited is encouraged by the report and supportive of its passage in both houses.

farm bill in Michigan

ANN ARBOR – Jan. 28, 2014 – After months of intense negotiations, the farm bill conference committee released their report today on the 2014 Farm Bill. The bill now heads to the House and Senate for confirmation, and Ducks Unlimited is encouraged by the report and supportive of its passage in both houses

Lead farm bill negotiators announce farm bill agreement

WASHINGTON – Jan. 27, 2014 – After three long years of compromise, the four primary Agriculture Committee negotiators announced the final farm bill agreement today, and it enhances and strengthens vital polices for wildlife, sportsmen and women and all citizens.

Second half of 113th Congress looks more promising for sportsmen

While there isn’t much good news for sportsmen to report from 2013, the second half the 113th congressional session has begun and it’s shaping up to have more potential.

DU participates in conservation conversation in Washington

Farm Foundation hosts panel on future of farm bill conservation programs

Sen. Tester shares why conservation is an important part of the farm bill

Senator Jon Tester of Montana sits down with Ducks Unlimited to discuss this year's farm bill and the advantages it offers to waterfowl.

Report reveals disturbing national trend of increased coastal wetland losses

WASHINGTON – Nov. 22, 2013 – An alarming national trend of increased loss of coastal wetlands was announced yesterday in a report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

2013 Farm Bill Conference Committee

Contact members of Congress sitting on the 2013 Farm Bill conference committee to support a strong conservation title in the final bill.

Bird conservation organizations send letter to lawmakers asking for five-year farm bill

DU, NWTF, PF and QF join letter

Media summit highlights plight of the prairies

Stories focusing on the plight of the prairies and increased energy development in North Dakota have been showing up in national publications (Washington Post) following the recent Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) 2013 Media Summit, hosted by Ducks Unlimited in Bismarck, N.D.

Private lands conservation at risk with farm bill expiration

Lost in the back-and-forth before the federal government shutdown, the one-year farm bill extension expired at midnight on Sept. 30, 2013.

Sept. 30 congressional deadline looms

The full U.S. Congress came back to Washington, D.C., yesterday after a month-long recess (August 2013) to visit constituents in the legislators’ home states and districts.

Your DU game plan for August recess

Every August, lawmakers escape the Washington, D.C., humidity to visit constituents at home. The month-long recess is an opportunity to schedule a meeting with members of Congress and their staffs to discuss important issues affecting sportsmen, waterfowl and other wildlife.

Sen. Cochran: farm bill, NAWCA critical to safeguarding habitats

As the ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Thad Cochran (MS) has significant influence on DU policy priorities. He is also a member of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission and Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.

Split House farm bill passes 216-208

WASHINGTON – July 11, 2013 – In rapid succession, U.S. House leadership announced earlier this week a split of the farm bill into separate agriculture and nutrition pieces, and voted today on the agriculture portion. It passed with a final tally of 216-208.

DU Farm Bill Team lead gives bill update

In July 2013, the Waterfowl Advocate asked Becky Humphries, Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes Director and lead of the farm bill team, to update us on the status of the 2013 Farm Bill.

DU staff visit with Montana senators

Ducks Unlimited staff from the Great Plains Region met recently with Montana Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus in Washington, D.C. Great Plains Director of Operations Steve Adair and Government Affairs Representative Eric Lindstrom attended the Montana Coffee Open House and spoke to the Senators about the urgency of passing the 2013 Farm Bill. Conservation programs are a major component of the farm bill.

House fails to pass 2013 Farm Bill

In an unexpected outcome, the House of Representatives’ final vote on the 2013 Farm Bill was 195-234. The vote fell far short of the 218 required for passage.

U.S. Senate passes 2013 Farm Bill

The U.S. Senate today passed a five-year farm bill, including a strong conservation title, with a final bipartisan vote of 66-27.

House bill introduced to re-couple compliance and crop insurance

WASHINGTON – June 6, 2013 – Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (NE) and Mike Thompson (CA) today introduced the Crop Insurance Accountability Act of 2013 to re-couple conservation compliance to crop insurance.

Action Alert: Critical Farm Bill Vote Underway

The Senate is edging close to partisan-induced gridlock on the Farm Bill unless they can get 60 votes tomorrow to invoke cloture, thereby allowing the full Senate to vote on the bill. Please contact both of your Senators as soon as possible, but no later than 9 am EDT tomorrow (Thursday) and respectfully urge them to vote “yes” for cloture.

House Agriculture Committee reports farm bill with less conservation emphasis

WASHINGTON – May 16, 2013 – The House Agriculture Committee marked up and reported out to the House floor their 2013 Farm Bill today, with a 36-10 vote.

Senate Agriculture Committee reports farm bill with strong conservation title

WASHINGTON – May 14, 2013 – The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee successfully reported a five-year farm bill out of Committee to the Senate floor, with a bipartisan vote of 15-5.

Farm bill’s conservation programs of particular importance to DU’s Southern Region

The majority of lands in the United States are privately owned, and this is especially true for Ducks Unlimited’s Southern Region, which encompasses 13 states from Florida to New Mexico and Virginia to Oklahoma. DU and our partners work closely with farmers, ranchers and other private landowners across the region to promote working lands and achieve our conservation mission.

Montana Recognized by DU for Natural Resources Conservation Service

DU presented the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) with its Montana DU Conservation Partner of the Year award in August at the Montana DU state convention in Great Falls. The award is presented annually to agencies and individuals who make outstanding contributions to the conservation of wetlands and waterfowl habitat in Montana.

Conservation Q&A

With Gary Taylor, DU's Director of Governmental Affairs; on a variety of topics, including the RESTORE Act, NAWCA and DU's top legislative priorities.

DU volunteer highlights farm bill priorities at Kansas town hall

The annual 2013 Kansas Ducks Unlimited State Convention was held recently in Hutchinson and volunteers went above and beyond to help further DU’s public policy efforts.

U.S. House leaders urge colleague support of Sodsaver legislation

WASHINGTON – March 20, 2013 – The full House leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to the full caucus today asking for support of the Protect Our Prairies Act, H.R. 686, to help protect vital waterfowl and wildlife habitats that have never been farmed.

DU supports bipartisan Sodsaver legislation introduced in the House

WASHINGTON – Feb. 14, 2013 – The growing risk of native grasslands being converted to cropland was recognized in the U.S. House of Representatives today. Lead co-sponsors Reps. Kristi Noem (SD) and Tim Walz (MN) introduced the Protect Our Prairies Act, H.R. 686, to help protect vital waterfowl and wildlife habitats that have never been farmed.

Get Local: Encourage farm bill action with a letter to the editor

Washington, D.C., may seem far removed from where you live, but lawmakers keep their ear to the ground when it comes to their constituents’ opinions. One of the ways members of Congress and their staffs stay on top of issues and attitudes is by reading hometown newspapers in their state, which provides Ducks Unlimited supporters a great opportunity to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper to encourage congressional action on a full five-year farm bill.

Farm Bill Letters to the Editor

Check out these sample letters to the editor, personalize them and submit them to your local newspaper to spread the word about the importance of the farm bill where you live!

Fiscal Cliff included important conservation extensions

At the eleventh hour before its final adjournment, Congress passed a bill to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and the president signed it into law on Jan. 2, 2013.

Sportsmen’s legislative priorities in 2013

This month, the Waterfowl Advocate interviewed Ducks Unlimited’s Director of Government Affairs Gary Taylor about legislative priorities affecting sportsmen in the coming year.

More to be done in remaining lame duck session

The 112th Congress has as little as two weeks to close out business and pass legislation. If priorities remain unfinished by the end of December, legislators will have to start from scratch in January when the 113th Congress begins their two-year tenure.

DU volunteers discuss conservation with Sen. Collins

Bangor Ducks Unlimited Chapter Chairman David Poll and DU Regional Biologist Kurt Anderson met with Sen. Susan Collins (ME) via video conference in November to discuss the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), Farm Bill and Sportsmen’s Act of 2012.

The 2012 election is over, but what do the results mean for conservation?

The votes were counted, the president was re-elected, Democrats kept control of the U.S. Senate and Republicans still run the House of Representatives. Though the status quo remains in many cases, the election did usher in some changes that will affect Ducks Unlimited and our public policy priorities.

Lame duck session can still accomplish conservation priorities

Congress has adjourned until after the election, but the work for this class of legislators isn't over.

DU joins hundreds at Farm Bill rally

Ducks Unlimited joined approximately 500 farmers, ranchers and agriculture leaders from across the nation in Washington, D.C., this week for a "Farm Bill Now" rally.

Re-coupling Conservation Compliance and Crop Insurance

For the past three decades, conservation compliance has been linked to most U.S. agricultural commodity programs to reduce soil erosion and deter wetland drainage.

DU staff held Farm Bill roundtable with Senate Agricultural Committee

Ducks Unlimited's Great Lakes/Atlantic regional office in Ann Arbor hosted a Farm Bill roundtable this week. Tina May, a senior staffer from the Senate Agricultural Committee, brought stakeholders up to date on some of the ins and outs of the important legislation.

Tell your representatives to make wetlands and waterfowl a priority

Senators and congressmen will be holding townhalls and meeting with voters while they're home to take the pulse of their constituents. August recess provides you the best opportunities to talk to representatives one-on-one and tell them the issues most important to you.

DU fights for full five-year farm bill, with conservation funding intact

In an attempt to put off farm bill consideration until the next Congress convenes, the House Republican leadership prepared a one-year extension of farm bill programs, but failed to include continued authorization for key conservation provisions such as the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).

DU leaders meet with legislators, advocate for farm bill conservation programs

Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall and Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt joined agricultural producers and DU governmental affairs staff in Washington, D.C., this week to impress upon members of Congress the importance of maintaining strong conservation programs in the 2012 Farm Bill.

Capitol visit successful for Iowa, Minnesota farmers

Jim Goodman, a Crescent, Iowa, landowner, joined Toni and Philip Brink of Traverse County, Minn., in Washington, D.C., on July 24-26 as part of a Ducks Unlimited farmer fly-in. These fly-ins help educate and inform legislators of the importance of the 2012 Farm Bill conservation programs, specifically funding for the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

As the House farm bill moves toward a vote, the future and nature of Sodsaver hang in the balance

On July 11, the House Agriculture Committee marked up their 2012 Farm Bill using as the foundation the bill language that was agreed to by Committee Chairman Lucas (OK) and Ranking Democrat Peterson (MN). Among the countless amendments that were offered was one introduced by Reps. Tim Walz (MN), Kristi Noem (SD) and Jeff Fortenberry (NE).

Taylor takes DU reins in D.C.

In his first week as the new director of DU's Governmental Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., Gary Taylor has already been busy tackling some of the country's biggest waterfowl-related public policy issues, including the 2012 Farm Bill and future funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA).

DU applauds Senate passing 2012 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON - June 21, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited announced its appreciation today following the U.S. Senate's 64-35 passage of the 2012 Farm Bill. The $969.9 billion bipartisan bill maintained a conservation title that will benefit wildlife and people. Critical conservation initiatives include the Conservation Reserve Program, a conservation easement program with a strong wetland component, a regional partnership program aimed at improving water quality and a Sodsaver provision. The Senate also moved to link eligibility for federally subsidized crop insurance to compliance with conservation practices.

Potholes in Peril

New threats to prairie wetlands could mean big trouble for duck populations

Ducks Unlimited appreciates introduction of sportsmen's legislation

WASHINGTON - June 8, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited appreciates the recent introduction to the Senate of a package of bills on behalf of sportsmen and women. The Sportsmen's Act of 2012 was offered by Sens. Jon Tester (Montana) and John Thune (South Dakota), proposing improved public access, sustainable habitat for fish and wildlife and increased funding for natural resource conservation. The collection of bills is being presented as an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill.

DU backs Sodsaver legislation

Ducks Unlimited supports newly introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at protecting native grasslands at high risk of being converted to cropland.

Ducks Unlimited joins other conservation, sportsmen's groups in support of Sodsaver

In a letter submitted this week, hunting and fishing and conservation groups urged House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (OK) and ranking member Collin Peterson (MN) to adopt the Farm Bill's Sodsaver provision to promote "responsible stewardship of agricultural land and direct program benefits to acreage that is most suited for crop production."

AFWA legislative director to lead DU Governmental Affairs Office

WASHINGTON - May 9, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited announced today that Gary Taylor, current legislative director for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), will be joining the organization as DU's new director of governmental affairs in Washington, D.C., beginning in June.

DU applauds 2012 Farm Bill committee passage

WASHINGTON - April 26, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited announced its support and appreciation of the Senate Agricultural Committee today as it passed the 2012 Farm Bill out of committee.

DU recognizes Senate agricultural committee's progress on 2012 Farm Bill

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – April 23, 2012 – Ducks Unlimited compliments the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and its chairwoman, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, on the April 20 introduction of the 2012 Farm Bill in the Senate.

Farmer fly-in, congressional testimony help shape agriculture's link to conservation

Ducks Unlimited staffers joined farmers on Capitol Hill last week in an attempt to build on the relationship between agricultural producers and wetlands conservation.

DU public policy staff leads Great Lakes conservation talks in Washington

Ducks Unlimited's Great Lakes/Atlantic Region participated in Great Lakes Days in Washington, D.C., which included a Great Lakes Commission (GLC) meeting, White House briefings and visits with members of Congress.

DU staff among key speakers on wetlands protection, conservation funding at Kansas Natural Resources Conference

Last week, two members of Ducks Unlimited's conservation staff were among four key speakers during a plenary session at the Kansas Natural Resources Conference in Wichita. This year's conference, with a theme of "Wetlands: The Jewels of Kansas," was attended by nearly 400 representatives from the state and regional conservation community.

The Farm Bill, Ducks and You

The 2012 Farm Bill is scheduled to be reauthorized next year, and depending on the outcome, this single piece of legislation will either positively or negatively impact millions of acres of wetlands, grasslands and other waterfowl habitat across the United States.

Michigan DU volunteers speak up for conservation during August recess

Ducks Unlimited volunteers in Michigan used August recess as an opportunity to highlight the importance of conservation programs with some of our nation's top leaders and policymakers.

Wetlands and the Farm Bill

Your support will be needed to save key agricultural conservation programs in upcoming legislation

Don''t Put More Fields into Production

Michigan DU state chair Terry Laymon responds to an article in the press regarding conservation programs in the Farm Bill.

Policy News 3-12

Congress returns from recess to address FY2011 budget issues; DU Western Region staff discuss impact of water shortages with with Commissioner of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner; Nebraska Senator Addresses Ducks Unlimited state convention

Record Year for Wetlands Reserve Program

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced in December that the nation’s farmers, ranchers, and Native American tribes enrolled more than 272,000 acres in the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) during fiscal year 2010, the highest single-year enrollment since the program began in 1990. More than 2.3 million acres are currently enrolled in WRP nationwide.

Conservation: Can we save CRP?

Without your help, this important agricultural conservation program faces an uncertain future

Policy News 3-3

DU conservation staff discuss common ground issues with Farm Bureau; Conservation hero makes surprise visit to GLARO office, discusses issues affecting Great Lakes region; Sen. Stabenow, DU present at Farm Bill Forum; DU's Conservation Programs Committee meets to discuss 2012 Farm Bill, Clean Water and other policy issues

Policy News 2-52

DU recognizes 25th anniversary of Conservation Reserve Program

A Duck's-Eye-View

Waterfowl winging their way across North America have a unique perspective that is hard to image - unless you're a small aircraft pilot. Ducks Unlimited biologists keep this perspective in mind as they plan and implement conservation projects for waterfowl, knowing that ducks, geese, and swans need a mix of habitat types in fairly close proximity to meet their biological needs.

DU salutes USDA's support, commitment to conservation on 25th anniversary of CRP

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Dec. 23, 2010 - This year marks the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program. The Food Security Act of 1985 established the CRP, arguably the greatest landscape-level conservation program ever.

Sodsaver: Saving America's Prairies

A new wave of grassland conversion has occurred in the last decade, causing significant ecological and sociological impacts to the region. Current farm policy is fueling the destruction of this rare and important habitat. Congress must implement a policy in the 2012 Farm Bill to reverse this trend. Ducks Unlimited suggests calling this the "Sodsaver" provision.

The Farm Bill, Ducks, and the Economy

When most of us think of the Farm Bill, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) immediately comes to mind. We also think about how this program helps increase duck populations and can put more birds over our decoy spreads.

Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)

The GRP is a voluntary conservation program administered by the USDA's NRCS that helps landowners protect grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland, shrub land, and other landscapes.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Conservation Reserve Program provides annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to producers who take marginal cropland out of production and restore it to wildlife habitat.

Farm Bill

DU supports agricultural policy that conserves soil, water, wetlands, grasslands, and forests upon which both people and wildlife depend. The Farm Bill is the most effective tool for conserving wildlife habitat on private land, and it's DU's objective that both waterfowl and their habitats benefit from this policy.

Policy News 2-50

Bill outlawing importation of Asian carp into U.S. one step closer to becoming law; DU public policy director touts Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative at USA Rice Outlook Conference; Newly appointed chairmen to lead committees integral to Farm Bill programs, clean water policy

Wetlands and Ducks in the Balance

Passage of the Clean Water Restoration Act is vital to the future of the nation’s wetlands and waterfowl .

Americas New Farm Bill

Changes to Farm Bill programs mean your support for DU’s habitat conservation work is more vital than ever.

Winter Homes for Waterfowl

Farm Bill programs help ensure that wintering grounds across the continent continue to meet the needs of ducks and geese.

Fueling the Migration

During spring, waterfowl need high-quality wetland habitat to fuel their journey to the breeding grounds.

CRP - Conservation Reserve Program

In 1985, spring surveys by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service placed waterfowl breeding populations at 25.6 million ducks and predicted a fall flight of 54.5 million. Mallards, pintails and blue-winged teal in particular were in trouble, with populations at or near their lowest in the 30-year history of the surveys.
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