Editorial: Pheasants benefit from CRP

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2006

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns on Tuesday announced the results of a study demonstrating the implact the Conservation Reserve Program has had on pheasant

populations.

He said there has been a 22 percent increase in the counts of ring-necked pheasants for every 4 percent increase in CRP acres. That’s quite a ratio.

Pheasants Forever estimates that the 25.5 million acres of CRP land in the range of pheasants result in about 13.5 million pheasants annually.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program benefits not only the land but also the wildlife that uses the land and the sportsmen who enjoy game on that land. CRP began in 1985, and in the 2002 farm bill CRP received a healthy boost. We can’t state enough how vital CRP is to rural landscapes and we hope it continues its role in the 2007 farm bill.

We agree with Pheasants Forever President Howard Vincent, who said: &8220;When it comes to the construction of the 2007 farm bill, there is no question about CRP’s impact on wildlife, our hunting heritage and the hunting-based economy of many rural areas across the pheasant range.&8221;