News for Immediate Release
June 30, 2023
Contact: Katie McKalip, 406-240-9262, [email protected]
USDA’s Working Lands for Wildlife program is the beneficiary, key big game and upland bird habitat in the West, Midwest and East will gain
BOULDER, Colo. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that more than $500 million will be invested in fish and wildlife habitat over the next five years through the USDA’s Working Lands for Wildlife program, a proven model that provides a critical link in the conservation of wildlife migration corridors and intact habitats that span both private and public lands and waters.
Split between the USDA’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program ($250 million) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program ($250 million), WLFW investments will be prioritized in two program areas: In the West, funds will help conserve migration corridors for big game species, focusing on Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. In the East and Midwest, upland bird species, including bobwhite quail and northern bobwhite quail, and their grassland habitat will benefit.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers commended the USDA decision.
“This landmark investment by USDA not only expands the program by leveraging other successful models including the Conservation Reserve Program; it is also a meaningful commitment that will improve habitat, enhance population health for upland and big game species, and further incentivize voluntary conservation partnerships,” said John Gale, BHA’s vice president of policy and government relations. “These partnerships will help ensure that our natural resources are managed in strategic ways that benefit working lands, local communities, and the fish and wildlife species that we all care about.
“From sagebrush country in the West, pine ecosystems in the South, and rivers, wetland complexes, and deciduous forest systems in the East, the reach of this framework for conservation action is incredibly unique,” Gale said. “We applaud USDA for their forward-thinking approach at a time when the nation’s lands and waters need it the most.”
Working Lands for Wildlife’s success relies on partnerships with a range of stakeholders, including farmers and ranchers, and supports voluntary, local-level efforts that benefit both fish and wildlife and rural communities. The program was established in 2010 and since then has been responsible for enabling the conservation of more than 12 million acres of important habitat.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice
for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.