Farm Bill must include solutions for family forest owners

The coalition publishes comprehensive recommendations for the reauthorization of the Farm Bill to protect and improve forests and the quality of life for US farmowners.

EDGEFIELD, SC — Forests in the Farm Bill (FIFB), a coalition of more than 70 forestry and conservation organizations, today released a set of recommendations focused on improving the forest-related sections of the upcoming Farm Bill. The coalition urges lawmakers to strengthen the Farm Bill’s ability to protect the health and well-being of America’s forests while supporting America’s rural communities.

“Rural landowners have tremendous potential to improve the health and well-being of our country’s forests, and the FIFB coalition’s recommendations will help realize that potential,” said Rita Hite, president and CEO of the American Forest Foundation. “By accepting the Coalition’s recommendations, Congress will remove financial and administrative barriers that often prevent landowners from reaching their full conservation potential and open doors of opportunity for rural communities, provide more funding for forest conservation and a stronger stance on climate resilience. .”

Farm Bill programs provide resources and information to support federal, state, local, tribal, and private forest owners. Enhancement of these programs will enable critical forest management best practices that reduce risk and increase resilience to wildfires, protect water supplies, enhance wildlife habitat, and support forest products and environmental markets to drive investments. rural economies.

“Forests are our nation’s greatest renewable resource. They create economic opportunities, mitigate key factors in climate change, provide critical ecosystems to support biodiversity, and improve human health. Removing the barriers inherent in existing Farm Bill language, such as the need to consider arbitrary ‘property’ limits when orchestrating crucial wildfire mitigation efforts, is a critical step in the right direction. When it comes to the main threats facing our forests (fire, pests, diseases), boundaries don’t matter. These things easily spread between ‘properties’ to wipe out even the healthiest landscapes,” said Jay Farrell, executive director of the National Association of State Rangers. “The focused and thoroughly researched recommendations our coalition has delivered to Congress highlight key opportunities to strengthen the Farm Bill to make it more like the resource our nation’s forests deserve.”

The coalition’s recommendations emphasize the need for lawmakers to address the barriers many underserved forest owners face when accessing Farm Bill programs. They also call on Congress to increase research and innovative funding, technical assistance, and support for active land stewardship through the reauthorization of key conservation programs, along with increased efforts to support meeting mitigation goals. climate change and combat the bushfire crisis.

“Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition has built a strong reputation for working collaboratively to make private and public forests healthy, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and conserve quality wildlife habitat” said Kurt Dyroff, co-executive director of National Wild Turkey. Federation. “For more than 20 years, the coalition has brought together a diverse consortium of partners representing millions of forest owners, conservationists, hunters, fishermen, forest product manufacturers, and natural resource professionals to build its Farm Bill platform, and the This year’s platform is endorsed by more than 70 organizations. The National Wild Turkey Federation is proud to help lead the coalition as a member of the steering committee and fully supports the platform of this Farm Bill that has been presented to Congress.”

The FIFB Coalition has worked for more than 20 years to collaboratively build consensus policy solutions to the Farm Bill. The Farm Bill, which Congress typically renews every five years, is the nation’s largest source of federal funding for private land conservation and is an integral part of forest restoration and conservation and agricultural research.

The coalition’s recommendations can be found here.

About the Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition

The Forests in the Farm Bill (FIFB) Coalition represents millions of Americans who care deeply about the health and vitality of our forests. FIFB is a diverse coalition of over 100 organizations representing a variety of interests across the forestry sector, including forest owners, conservationists, hunters, fishermen, the forest industry and natural resource professionals. The FIFB Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from the American Forest Foundation, the National Association of State Foresters, and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

About the National Wild Turkey Federation

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars in wildlife conservation and has conserved or improved more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to advance wildlife conservation, forest resiliency, and robust recreational opportunities across the US by working beyond borders at the landscape scale.

2023 is the 50th of the NWTFhe anniversary and an opportunity to push the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. for his 50he anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and the people of NWTF; and raise $5 million to build a $50 million endowment for the future. Find out how you can help us achieve these lofty goals.