FUN WITH THE FARM BILL! Wow! Congress can still get something done – and something good for hunters and conservation! At 27 million acres, the CRP cap under the 2018 Farm Bill is up 3 million acres from 2014 where it sat at a recent low of just 24 million acres. We look at this conservation program and more related to the Farm Bill in today’s Three Things.
Featured Photo: Deep Cover. Marginal lands like sloughs and grassland can be eligible to be enrolled into CRP, which will increase for the first time in many years under the new Farm Bill. Simonson Photo.
WEATHER (Bismarck Forecast):
Today: Mon 12/17 – Warm Again – Hi 45, Lo 23, Wind SE@9
Tomorrow: Tue 12/18 – Continued Nice – Hi 43, Lo 25, Wind W@8
SOLUNAR (Bismarck Times):
Moonrise Moonset Overhead Underfoot
2:13PM 2:14AM 8:41PM 8:18AM
Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (72% Full)
EDGE HOUR: 8:00-9:00AM. Moon underfoot, sunrise and calm conditions will start your day off right in the Edge Hour.
CLOSING ON CRP. As part of the $867 Billion Farm Bill, congress finally made moves to help habitat and hunting in the United States, after more than a decade of short-changing conservation (and still getting lost in SNAP). With the lame duck session approval of the Farm Bill, the acres able to be enrolled went from a bottom of 24 Million Acres to 27 Million when sign-up starts next year.
STAYING HIP. Congress also reauthorized the national grant program in the Farm Bill behind Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) which is used to support and advance access and improving wildlife habitat via state and tribal agencies. This year’s tally is $50 million, up from the $20 million awarded in 2014.
LEFT OUT. While not part of the Farm Bill, the closely-related conservation-based Land & Water Conservation Fund still remains expired. This Fund helps secure and maintain areas of national and regional interest, particularly parks and other areas the public can access, including trails and waterways open to the public. The LWCF was formed in 1965 and funding expired on Sept. 30.