Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Practitioner’s Guide Available for Fish and Wildlife Conservation Providers to Help Landowners Access Farm Bill Programs

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies supported the North American Bird Conservation Initiative in producing the 2014 Farm Bill FieldGuide to Fish and Wildlife Conservation. Now available, this field guide is a tool to assist the staff of federal and state fish and wildlife agencies, nongovernmental conservation organizations, joint ventures and other conservation partners in implementing Farm Bill conservation programs.

More than two-thirds of the land area in the United States is privately owned, with 914 million acres in farms or ranches and approximately 300 million acres in private forest. These working lands, which represent much of the country’s remaining open space and habitat, are vitally important to the conservation of soil, water and fish and wildlife resources. The Agricultural Act of 2014, the most recently enacted Farm Bill, dedicates approximately $28 billion dollars until 2018 for conservation.

The 2014 Farm Bill Field Guide to Fish andWildlife Conservation was designed primarily as an introduction for fish and wildlife conservation providers—the on-the-ground biologists and conservation partners who help deliver Farm Bill conservation programs to landowners. The goal is to provide these practitioners with a tool to better understand the Farm Bill and how its programs can help landowners conserve fish and wildlife habitat.

The guide provides an overview of the Conservation Title in the 2014 Farm Bill as well as Farm Bill history, program delivery, the role of partnerships and priority setting. It also features case studies and details on the following programs: the Conservation Reserve Program, Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Innovation Grants, Conservation Stewardship Program, Healthy Forests Reserve Program, Regional Conservation Partnership Program and Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program.

To download the Farm Bill Field Guide or to request a printed copy, go to

A diverse coalition of habitat conservation organizations helped the North American Bird Conservation Initiative prepare and publish this guide, including: