"The Farm Bill's Conservation Reserve Program and Wetlands Reserve Program not only have a positive impact on wildlife populations but also help conserve soil and keep our streams, rivers and lakes clean," Hall writes. The incentive-based programs allow conservation groups to work with farmers to create benefits for all stakeholders: wildlife, farmers, ranchers, the environment and hunters and fishers, "which generates significant financial support for out nation's economy," Hall says. Hunters, fishers and wildlife watchers spent $145 billion on wildlife-related recreation last year, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Three aspects of the Farm Bill are of particular concern to conservation groups, Hall writes: maintaining and strengthening effective wetland protections, a national "sodsaver" provision to protect native prairies, and preserving conservation programs. (Read more)