EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation congratulates Congress for passing the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, and looks forward to the president signing the important piece of legislation.
The 2018 Farm Bill gives farmers, ranchers and forest landowners the tools to protect and conserve their land while contributing to a strong local economy. It provides incentives for responsible land management that safeguards water supplies, forests and critical ecosystems. The Farm Bill also is one of the most critical pieces of legislation for wildlife conservation and hunting access on both public and private lands across the country.
We extend our thanks to the House Agriculture Committee, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, the Farm Bill conferees and our leadership in Congress for their tireless efforts to craft a bill with bipartisan support.
The NWTF has been involved in meetings and discussions with leaders in Washington, D.C. and other conservation organizations since work on the new Farm Bill began and is pleased to see many of the supported programs included in the final version of the bill. These programs include the Conservation Reserve Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and the Voluntary Public Access Program. The NWTF also is pleased with the forest management provisions, including the categorical exclusions for pest and disease management, the Good Neighbor Authority addition and other forestry provisions to encourage active forest management.
“The NWTF is a strong proponent of active, sustainable forest management and the conservation programs for private landowners included in this Farm Bill that support these efforts,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “The conservation programs included in the 2018 Farm Bill are important not only to our nation’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, but to every citizen who enjoys wildlife and the outdoors.”
The NWTF extends a special thanks to Congressman Bruce Westerman (R-AR) for his hard work and leadership on the Farm Bill forestry title. As the sole forester in Congress, Representative Westerman had a hand in many of the beneficial forestry provisions that were considered for the final 2018 Farm Bill.
“Although we all acknowledge that there is more to be done,” Humphries said, “the Ag Committees have worked hard in recent bills and in this bill to address active forest management and we applaud the forestry provisions that promote sound forest management and benefit the health and sustainability of our nation’s forests.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.