Action Alert: Join NDA and its Conservation Partners by Opposing Proposed Cuts to CRP

March 23, 2018 | by National Deer Alliance

Senate Bill 2557 (S. 2557), also known as the GROW Act, was introduced to the United States Senate by four members of the Senate Agriculture Committee (Senators Joni Ernst (IA), Chuck Grassley (IA), Sherrod Brown (OH) and Bob Casey (PA)) on March 15.

The GROW Act significantly impacts the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and public access to lands for hunting. Most notably, S. 2557 would limit CRP acreage to 24 million acres – an all time low. The funding that would normally be allocated to the CRP program would be allocated to other programs under the Farm Bill.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “[t]he long-term goal of the [Conservation Reserve Program] is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.” It’s easy to see how a historically-low cap on CRP acreage would have a negative impact on wildlife and hunter access. The National Deer Alliance (NDA) outlines wild deer conservation and hunter access as a key focus area. S. 2557 directly and negatively impacts both of these priorities.

As our partner Pheasants Forever notes, the CRP program is the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars for reducing soil erosion, improving water quality, and creating quality wildlife habitat. Additionally, “the importance of CRP for wildlife, and that quality habitat open to hunting and interspersed throughout rural places means diners, gas station, hotels and lodges filled during hunting season,” Pheasants Forever adds. The passage of the GROW Act would result in a decrease in quantity and quality of wildlife habitat, as well as a decrease in other important ecosystem services.

“It’s astonishing that legislation aimed at further cutting critical CRP acres is being introduced at a time when the only discussion on the table should be expansion,” said NDA president and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto. “It is important that sportsmen contact their Senators today to let them know that this bill is a bad deal for wildlife and conservation.”

Join the NDA in opposing Senate Bill 2557. The GROW Act negatively impacts wildlife habitat, hunter access, and even rural economies. Write or call your U.S. Senators, and let them know that you oppose S. 2557. Millions of acres of wildlife habitat depend on it.