Boone and Crockett Club: Daines’ Farm Bill Efforts A Win for Conservation

Boone and Crockett Club: Daines’ Farm Bill Efforts A Win for Conservation

MISSOULA, Mont. (July 2, 2018) – The Boone and Crockett Club today praised Montana Senator Steve Daines for his efforts in ensuring critical conservation measures were included in the latest version of the Farm Bill.

“Legislation is intended to address needs,” noted Ben Hollingsworth, Jr., president of the Boone and Crockett Club. “Good legislation comes from those who take a boots-on-the-ground approach with the intent of doing the greatest good for the greatest number. Senator Daines has contributed both through the provisions being included in the new Farm Bill.”

The first Farm Bill was passed by Congress during the Great Depression in 1933. It is the primary agricultural and food production policy tool of the federal government that is re-authorized every five years. The bill is also a significant piece of environmental conservation legislation. The current bill, the Agricultural Act of 2017, would have expired in 2018 but was just reauthorized by the House and then the Senate this past week.

The new Farm Bill contains many provisions to address specific needs. Three of these that Senator Daines has diligently supported include:

  • Increasing the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) wildlife practices from 5 percent to 10 percent of the funding, which adds $3 billion a year to assist landowners in planning, installing, or maintaining practices that enhance water quality and wildlife habitat, or reduce soil erosion and sedimentation. This wildlife practice, originally termed the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), was conceptualized by members of the Boone and Crockett Club in 1996. WHIP was combined with EQIP in the 2014 Farm Bill.
  • Expanding the Good Neighbor Authority allowing the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to enter into cooperative agreements with states to perform forest, rangeland and watershed restoration projects on federal and non-federal lands.
  • Authorizing $50 million over the life of the bill until 2023 to maintain level funding for the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP), which is a competitive grant program that provides state and tribal governments with funds to increase public access to private lands for hunting and fishing.

“Our policy team in Washington D.C., and here in Montana, worked closely with Senator Daines evaluating where the shortfalls have been for the people who grow our food and steward our lands against the increasing demands being placed on the environment in general,” Hollingsworth, Jr. concluded. “He’s proven to be a champion for farmers, ranchers, sportsmen, wildlife, and the environment.”

About the Boone and Crockett Club

Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club is the oldest conservation organization in North America and helped to establish the principles of wildlife and habitat conservation, hunter ethics, as well as many of the institutions, experts agencies, science and funding mechanisms for conservation. 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. For details, visit