For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 25, 2017) As Congress begins writing the next iteration of the Farm Bill, the Forests in the Farm Bill (FIFB) Coalition, a group of 92 forest organizations, recently released a set of forest-related recommendations that would improve the bill’s ability to support private and family-owned forests and the benefits they provide.
The Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society (RGS/AWS) endorsed these recommendations, as they make it easier for landowners to implement scientifically sound wildlife habitat improvement and promote healthy forests.
“Almost one-third of America’s forests are owned by families or individuals, which means conservation of grouse, woodcock, and other forest wildlife depends substantially on what active forest management these private landowners are able to accomplish,” noted Dr. Brent Rudolph, RGS/AWS Director of Conservation Policy.
Programs within the Farm Bill provide private and family forest owners, in addition to farmers, with the resources to conduct conservation practices to improve wildlife habitat, protect water quality and conserve healthy forests. Farm Bill programs for forestry assist landowners with technical and financial help, and also support research, outreach, and education programs, and help grow markets so forest management can be financially viable for landowners and contribute to America’s rural economies.
The FIFB Coalition asks Congress to address, with both policy improvements and funding, six key priorities in the next Farm Bill:
- Conserve and enhance habitat for forest-dependent wildlife;
- Improve and streamline forest and conservation programs;
- Keep forests as forests;
- Address fire and forest health;
- Support forest research, education, and information needs; and
- Grow jobs and rural economies through forestry
The FIFB Coalition, which has been in existence for more than 15 years, includes 92 forest groups representing all aspects of the forest sector, including forest owners, conservationists, hunters, anglers, forest industry and natural resource professionals. RGS/AWS contributes an abundance of wildlife and forest management expertise and practical experience through participation in the FIFB Coalition. It is co-chaired by the American Forest Foundation, National Association of State Foresters, National Wild Turkey Federation, and The Nature Conservancy.
For more, contact:
Brent A. Rudolph, Ph.D.
RGS/AWS Director of Conservation Policy
Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society is North America’s foremost conservation organization dedicated to preserving our sporting traditions by creating healthy forest habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other wildlife. RGS/AWS works with landowners and government agencies to develop critical habitat utilizing scientific management practices.
RGS/AWS is designated as a Charity Navigator Four-Star charity, for recognition as a financially healthy, accountable, and transparent organization. Information on RGS/AWS, its mission, management projects and membership can be found on the web at: www.RuffedGrouseSociety.org.