|Door May Be Shut on Open Fields|
Funding for the Open Fields program authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill is proposed to be terminated in the administration’s fiscal year 2010 budget, according to the Wildlife Management Institute.
Language in last year’s Farm Bill authorized a $3 per acre additional payment on lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program if the lands were opened to public hunting. The Obama administration has reasoned that, because many states pay landowners to open their lands for hunting access, the additional federal payments would simply provide more funds to landowners already enrolled in state-sponsored programs. The Open Fields dollars, therefore, would not contribute to creating more public access.
Seems like a good time to write the President and urge him to support hunters and landowners by letting this program go forward!