445 have signed this petition
The Conservation Reserve Program was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan as a part of the Farm Bill on December 23, 1985. 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 repurpose their land to conserve soil, water, and wildlife. By renting CRP acres from producers 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 grow conservation.
While CRP once supported almost 40 million acres of conservation areas, the program was reduced to 32 million acres following the economic downturn in 2008. The 2014 Farm Bill continued this downward trend and Congress cut the program again—to just 24 million acres. It is now clear that the supply of acres isn’t keeping pace with demand. In February 2016, landowners applied to put more than 1.8 million acres into CRP, but USDA only accepted 18 percent of the offers—the lowest acceptance rate in the program’s 30-year history.
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 number of CRP acres drop any further. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Senator John Thune (R-SD), and Congressman Collin Peterson (R-MN) have all voiced their support for raising the cap, and other decision makers are beginning to do the same. Now it’s our turn to speak up.
CRP is a sportsman’s greatest ally in preserving habitat for hunting and fishing on private lands. Sign our petition to show your support for a stronger CRP in the next Farm Bill—because CRP works.