The Boone and Crockett Club is commending the U.S. House of Representatives for their work on the Conservation and Forestry titles of the Farm Bill. With broad bipartisan support, the House approved a bill, which is now awaiting Senate approval that features reforms beneficial to conservation in America.
“Members of the Boone and Crockett Club have been working on the Farm Bill for over two years. We are pleased the bill reduces federal expenditures. It targets conservation to key forest, grassland, wetland and other wildlife habitats. And this is a direct result of the hard work of two chairs, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and U.S. Representative Frank Lucas (R-OK) and the two ranking members - U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Representative Colin Petersen (D-MN). The Club greatly appreciates the common sense, balanced approach that Congress was able to achieve,” said William (Bill) Demmer, President of the Club.
The bill will yield a total of over $23 billion dollars in spending cuts, provides certainty to agriculture and improves forest, wetland, grassland, and wildlife programs. Senate approval is expected within a week.
With over 74 percent of the land in the United States in private ownership, the Club places a lot of emphasis on the conservation of private lands. The Club worked to continue the highly successful Wetland Reserve program, which has been very beneficial in helping with restoring black bear habitat in the Lower Mississippi River Valley. The Club also worked to make sure that incentives for wildlife habitat improvement were continued, specifically maintaining the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. The Club supported the addition of the Healthy Forest Reserve Program to be a participating program of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The Club also successively supported permanently reauthorizing Stewardship Contract Authority, enlarging the reach of the existing Healthy Forests Restoration Act to address insect infestations, and extending to all 50 states the Good Neighbor Authority to delegate certain forest health projects to state foresters