The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) is expanding support for a native vegetation standard in the next Farm Bill among a diverse array of organizations and is welcoming additional supporters to help influence agricultural policy discussions in Congress.
“Adoption of the ‘Natives First’ approach by USDA could be the single most important development in restoring bobwhites and declining grassland birds across their ranges,” says NBCI Director Don McKenzie. “Establishing a native vegetation standard for public conservation money spent by USDA would be the game changer that finally tilts the playing field in favor of bobwhites, pollinators and many other declining species on private lands.”
Over 40 supporters have sent letters to key Members of Senate and House Agriculture committees and agriculture staff on Capitol Hill. Supporters of “Natives First” range from the American Bird Conservancy, the Pollinator Partnership and North American Butterfly Association to the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Boone & Crockett Club, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the National Wild Turkey Federation. (See full list below.)
“Additional outreach to Congress will be forthcoming,” said McKenzie. “Concerned conservationists from across the spectrum understand that native vegetation meets or beats exotics, such as fescue, in every important resource measure,” said McKenzie. “Native vegetation can provide, BETTER soil conservation, soil health, livestock forage, air quality and wildlife benefits. It’s time for a change and the 2018 Farm Bill is the opportunity.”
For more information and to join the effort, visit https://bringbackbobwhites.org/conservation/natives-first/
Natives First Supporters:
American Bird Conservancy, American Woodcock Society, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies,
Bamert Seed Company, Boone & Crockett Club, Chesapeake Valley Seed, Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Ernst Conservation Seeds, FDC Enterprises, Izaak Walton League of America, Kansas Grazing Lands Coalition, Landmark Turf & Native Seed, Missouri Prairie Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, National Association of Forest Service Retirees, National Association of Invasive Plant Councils, National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative, National Wild Turkey Federation, National Wildlife Federation, North American Butterfly Association, North American Grouse Partnership, Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council, Park Cities Quail, Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever, Placedo Prairie, Prairie Moon Nursery, Quail Coalition, Quail and Upland Game Alliance, Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation, Quality Deer Management Association, Roundstone Native Seed, Ruffed Grouse Society, South Carolina Native Plant Society, Southeastern Grasslands Initiative, Tanner Dog Farms, Tennessee Native Plant Society, Tennessee Naturalist Program, Texas Pollinator Powwow, Texas Wildlife Association, The Nature Conservancy, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, The Pollinator Partnership, Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, Wild Sheep Foundation, Wildlife Forever, Wildlife Management Institute, Wildlife Mississippi.