"Farm Conservation Program 'Under the Gun'"

"The farm bill is a favorite target of budget-cutters and those looking to reduce the size of government, particularly because about 80% of it encompasses food stamps and nutritional programs. However, it also contains some of the most successful conservation programs in our nation’s history, and those are now threatened with the ax, including the popular 1985 Conservation Reserve Program."

"Don’t remember rural life before the CRP? Well, there wasn’t as much wildlife. Especially not ground-nesting birds like quail or pheasants or ducks that need grassy fields for cover.

The CRP and its sister programs under the Conservation Title XII of the Farm Bill, such as the Wetlands Reserve Program and the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, are easy to understand. Farmers and landowners can volunteer to put some of their acreage to grass or other cover, or even restore habitat, and get a government check to defray the costs. Often it’s acreage better suited to grass or swamp than crops. And it works."

Dean Kuipers reports for the Los Angeles Times January 9, 2012.


Source: LA Times, 01/13/2012