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Boone and Crockett Club Welcomes House Agriculture Committee Passage of 2024 Farm Bill


The Boone and Crockett Club welcomes the vote of the House Agriculture Committee late last night, moving forward its version of the 2024 Farm Bill. The conservation and forestry titles in the bill include key legislative priorities strongly supported by the Club and many other conservation partners. Of particular note, the bill includes $240 million over five years for a new Forest Conservation Easement Program that will fill the gap for the long-term conservation of private working forestlands. The bill also continues critical funding for stewardship efforts on federal forests that reduce the threat of catastrophic fires while improving wildlife habitat and forest health. In addition, the legislation ensures that all funding for private land conservation programs that was directed through the Inflation Reduction Act will continue to support these conservation efforts.

“We greatly appreciate the leadership of House Agriculture Committee Chairman “GT” Thompson for working to create a Farm Bill reauthorization bill that clearly recognizes the important conservation and environmental benefits that our nation’s working farms, ranches, and forestlands provide,” commented James L. Cummins, president of the Boone and Crockett Club. “The committee-passed Farm Bill’s conservation title continues to offer the voluntary, incentive-based working lands programs that are a win-win for our natural resources and for producers’ bottom line. I am particularly grateful the Committee included provisions to create a new Forest Conservation Easement Program to fill a major gap in conservation of private working forests.”

Farms, ranches, and forests provide essential wildlife habitat and opportunities for hunters to recreate. In forestlands especially, much acreage is overcrowded and thus provides poor habitat, that makes these forests susceptible to catastrophic wildfires that risk lives and property. Farmers, ranchers, and forest owners need to be able to meet their agricultural objectives which may or may not involve conservation. Finding a way to help them meet their objectives as producers and landowners while offering the funding and technical assistance to address ecological needs is a win-win prospect. The conservation and forestry provisions within the Farm Bill are crucial to helping private landowners maintain, and the U.S. Forest Service improve, wildlife habitat. In addition, provisions for voluntary public access and habitat improvement support access easements to tens of thousands of acres of private land for hunting and fishing.

“The Farm Bill is truly one of our nation’s most important pieces of conservation legislation and has been a top priority for the Boone and Crockett Club for decades. We appreciate this action in the House Agriculture Committee and hope it sets the stage for Congress to reauthorize this critical policy this year,” Cummins concluded.

More About the Boone and Crockett Club

Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. Click here to learn more about the Boone and Crockett Club.