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The Conservation Reserve Program was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan as a part of the 1985 Farm Bill. This popular program is regarded by many as the greatest private lands conservation initiative in modern U.S. history. The program compensates landowners who voluntarily enroll their land to conserve soil, water, and wildlife. By renting CRP acres from landowners and providing cost-share assistance for things like seeds, trees, and labor, the U.S. Department of Agriculture helps make it financially possible for America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest owners to invest in conservation.

While CRP once supported almost 40 million acres of conservation areas, the 2014 Farm Bill cut the program to just 24 million acres. Acreage was gained in the 2018 Farm Bill, raising the cap to 27 million acres by 2023, but significant work lies ahead to ensure that the program is administered to maximize water quality, erosion prevention, and habitat health. 

We need a stronger CRP. Sportsmen and women have too much at stake—healthy habitat, abundant fish and wildlife, and access to quality places to hunt and fish—to let the program waver. Now it’s our turn to speak up. 

“A nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.”
–Franklin D. Roosevelt