Grasslands help prevent erosion and nutrient runoff, provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife and afford ample opportunities for outdoor recreation of all kinds. Photo courtesy EPA .
Sportsmen scored a victory on Capitol Hill this week with “Sodsaver” legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would support conservation of grasslands critical to fish and wildlife and valued by hunters and anglers. The Protect our Prairies Act was introduced by Rep. Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Rep. Tim Walz of Minnesota as the House Agriculture Committee proceeds with formulating its version of the federal Farm Bill.
A Senate decision to integrate a strong Sodsaver provision – proposed as an amendment by Sen. John Thune of South Dakota – in its version of the Farm Bill likewise drew praise from sportsmen.
The Farm Bill’s conservation title plays a pivotal role in conserving millions of acres of private lands fish and wildlife habitat and the hunting and fishing opportunities they provide.
“The legislation introduced today by Representatives Noem and Walz illustrates a commitment to conserve native grasslands from legislators who represent areas, namely South Dakota and Minnesota, where significant tracts of these important habitats remain. These areas help produce millions of waterfowl that migrate across the country, to the delight of hunters and wildlife watchers alike,” said Dan Wrinn, director of public policy for Ducks Unlimited, a TRCP partner group.
Grasslands help prevent erosion and nutrient runoff, provide essential habitat for fish and wildlife and afford ample opportunities for outdoor recreation of all kinds. Productive farmlands and grasslands also serve as an important economic engine for rural America and help secure the long-term sustainability of American farmers.
As the House builds its version of the new Farm Bill sportsmen continue to urge swift action by the full Congress to expedite passage of this key legislation before the end of 2012. Learn more about the TRCP’s private and agricultural lands conservation work.
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