April 23, 2018
Last week, the House Agriculture Committee voted to send to the floor its draft of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2). The Farm Bill is the single largest federal investment for conservation on private lands in the nation and is critical to state fish and wildlife agencies for conserving and improving millions of acres of habitat through voluntary efforts that can also provide opportunities for hunting and angling.
“We thank the House Agriculture Committee for taking this important first step towards reauthorizing the Farm Bill. The conservation title includes many strong provisions for fish and wildlife, and we appreciate the committee’s efforts to incorporate many of our priorities in the bill.” said Virgil Moore, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of Idaho Fish and Game. “The Farm Bill has long been a beacon of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, and we urge members of both the House and Senate to work together to pass a bipartisan bill that includes a strong conservation title, with robust funding for programs that promote healthy fish, wildlife, and habitats from which all Americans benefit.”
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is encouraged to see a number of priorities addressed in the conservation title of the House bill, including robust funding for the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, as well as an increased acreage cap in the Conservation Reserve Program. The Association is committed to working with Congress to ensure that the final Farm Bill invests in voluntary, incentive-based conservation that sustains rural communities and proactively delivers conservation and economic benefits to fish and wildlife, farmers and ranchers, and society.