Conservation

Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

Conservation Policy Update

By Simon Roosevelt and James L. Cummins

Since our gathering at the Club’s Mid-Year Meeting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, your conservation policy committee has been hard at work advancing the mission of our Club. Of particular note, we have been working with the Congress to make forward progress on a Farm Bill, on funding the government in the next fiscal year, and to advance wildlife migration:

In a positive step for private land conservation, the House Committee on Agriculture has advanced its version of the quintennial Farm Bill with a bipartisan vote. Special thanks goes to the Chairman, Glenn Thompson (R-Pennsylvania).  Meanwhile, as of this writing, the Senate Agriculture Committee has yet to release a full-text of its bill, though both the majority and the minority have released draft frameworks.  

The House version of the Farm Bill included several of the Club’s priorities for the 2024 Farm Bill, including $240 million over five years for a new Forest Conservation Easement Program, amendments to the Wetland Reserve Easement program, $150 million over five years for the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, and improvements to the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Each of these changes from the 2018 Farm Bill will provide tangible benefits to landowners who wish to participate in these voluntary, incentive-based working land programs. We look forward to working with both the House and the Senate agriculture committees to finish a Farm Bill this year.

While work on the Farm Bill is ongoing, Congress has resumed the annual appropriations process. The Club engages in this effort in a bipartisan, bicameral way to advance our agenda, particularly to secure funds for public land management and for wildlife disease research and management, notably chronic wasting disease

In addition to these efforts, the Club has engaged a bipartisan group of Senators and Congressmen to introduce and advance the Wildlife Movement Through Partnerships Act. The bill will authorize existing discretionary programs that improve habitat on identified big game migratory and movement corridors; which programs have been ongoing for two presidential administrations under Interior Secretarial Order 3362. We are particularly proud of the teamwork among sportsmen and other partners that helped develop this important legislation.

Our policy team also was represented at Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s inaugural Sportsperson’s Conservation Forum on a panel titled “Celebrating our Hunting Heritage: Perspectives On Ethics, Fair Chase and What Hunting Means to Wyoming.”

The next several months are sure to have many ups and downs leading to the November election, but know that your Boone and Crockett Club will continue to engage decision-makers in Washington and across the country on your behalf.  

If you’d like more information or to engage in any of the issues listed above, or if you’d like assistance addressing an issue in your neck of the woods, please feel free to reach out to Charlie Booher (charlie@watershedresults.com) on our policy team.

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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt