WASHINGTON – The full House leadership of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus (CSC) sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to the full caucus Wednesday asking for support of the Protect Our Prairies Act, H.R. 686, to help protect vital waterfowl and wildlife habitats that have never been farmed.
More than 70 percent of the nation’s native grasslands have already been lost. The rate of loss has been accelerated by unintended consequences of current agriculture policy and advanced technology.
The hunting industry supports 175,000 jobs combined in the co-sponsors’ home states. Hunters and anglers across the United States support rural communities by spending more than $76 billion a year on gear, licenses, stamps, tags and permits. Outdoor recreation opportunities contributed $145 billion to the U.S. economy in 2011, according to a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey.
Reps. Kristi Noem (SD) and Walz are the bill’s lead sponsors and co-sponsors include Reps. Earl Blumenauer (OR), Bruce Braley (IA), Jeff Fortenberry (NE), Bob Latta (OH), Collin Peterson (MN), Bennie Thompson (MS) and Rob Wittman (VA). Rep. Peterson is the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.
The bill was originally introduced by the bipartisan pair in the 112th Congress but it was not brought up for a vote of passage.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.