Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Members gathered with representatives from the wildlife and sporting community to discuss the importance of reauthorizing the conservation programs within H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 – more commonly referred to as the Farm Bill.
Hosted by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) and partners, this Capitol Hill Breakfast Briefing served as a platform to highlight several Farm Bill conservation programs and discuss their impact to our nation’s outdoor heritage with Members of Congress and Congressional staff.
CSF President Jeff Crane said, “The reauthorization of the Farm Bill is a critical priority for sportsmen and women around the country. We sincerely appreciate Chairman Conaway and the other members of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus who are working to ensure the Conservation Title remains a fundamental component of the next Farm Bill.”
Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) Vice-Chair Congressman Austin Scott (GA) welcomed attendees and thanked sponsors and briefing speakers for their support.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Congressman Mike Conaway promoted the importance of the Conservation Title. “We inherited a terrific Title 2 [Conservation Title] from the 2014 Farm Bill. We think we have improved [the conservation funding aspect]. In order to develop habitat, we need public-private partnerships to make that happen,” said Chairman Conaway. “The Conservation Title is one of the least controversial.”
Chairman Conaway also discussed the newest program addition to the Conservation Title, the Feral Swine Eradication Control Project, which would “focus on controlling the areas where we don’t want [feral swine], where they are the most destructive.”
If signed into law, the Conservation Title within the new Farm Bill will ensure the future of critical programs that support hunting access as well as soil, water, and fish and wildlife conservation on private lands, farms, ranches, and forests across the United States.
In April, the House Agriculture Committee passed the Farm Bill reauthorization, which now awaits a vote on the House floor.
Sponsors of the Breakfast Briefing included: Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies; Delta Waterfowl Foundation; Ducks Unlimited, Inc.; National Wild Turkey Federation; Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever; and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
Agriculture Chairman Rep. Conaway discusses the 2018 Farm Bill
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?