The Department of Agriculture Tuesday expanded wildlife conservation investments by $500 million over the next five years. The effort leverages all available conservation programs, including the Conservation Reserve Program, through its Working Lands for Wildlife effort.
The commitments will ramp up the conservation assistance for farmers, ranchers, private forest owners and tribes with a focus on working lands in key geographies across the country. The funding will help deliver a series of cohesive Frameworks for Conservation Action, which establish a common vision across the partnership of public and private interests and goals for delivering conservation resources in a given ecosystem, combining cutting-edge science with local knowledge, according to USDA.
The new funding includes $250 million from the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program and $250 million from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. USDA Undersecretary Robert Bonnie says, “Working Lands for Wildlife is ready to go to the next level, and today’s incorporation of the Conservation Reserve Program into its vision is a major leap forward.”