On July 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that 1.2 million acres were enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands. This recent sign-up period extended from March 16 through May 15, 2020. A total of 1.9 million acres were available for enrollment during this period. However, considering the various challenges faced during the CRP Grasslands enrollment period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the addition of 1.2 million acres should be viewed as a success for conservation.
As part of the Conservation Reserve Program, one of the largest and most successful voluntarily private lands conservation programs, CRP Grasslands allows landowners to receive annual federal rental payments to conserve grasslands, rangelands, and pastures while retaining the rights to continue common grazing practices, including haying, mowing, and harvesting seed from the enrolled acres. In addition to annual rental payments received throughout the duration of the 10 or 15-year CRP contract, landowners are also eligible for up to 50% cost-share for establishing approved conservation practices.
The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) will continue to work with legislators, agency officials, and our conservation partners to promote CRP and other important Farm Bill conservation programs for the benefit of our natural resources and the sportsmen and women who enjoy them. For more information on this recent announcement or other important Farm Bill Conservation Programs, visit the USDA’s website.
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?