Bipartisan Bill Will Incentivize Farmers to Connect Habitats, Support Healthy Wildlife Migration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bipartisan legislation from U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M) and Representatives Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) and Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.) will help provide more opportunities for farmers and ranchers to use wildlife-friendly fencing and other practices that allow wildlife to move through farm and ranch lands while enhancing voluntary Farm Bill conservation programs. The legislation will provide more opportunities for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to partner with farmers, ranchers, and private landowners to address the growing problem of habitat fragmentations, which can make it harder for wildlife to migrate, find food and shelter, and adapt to the changing climate.

“Farmers and ranchers have an immense opportunity to help wildlife endure and thrive for future generations,” said Aviva Glaser, senior director for agriculture policy at the National Wildlife Federation. “This common-sense, bipartisan legislation will help farmers, ranchers, and landowners support the wildlife that migrate through their fields, pastures, and forests — and the hunters, anglers, birders, and outdoor recreationists that enjoy them. Congress should include this common sense, no-cost proposal in the 2024 Farm Bill and strengthen U.S. Department of Agriculture voluntary conservation programs.”

“Resilient and permeable habitat provides wildlife with the much-needed ability to survive in the face of a changing climate,” said Jesse Deubel, executive director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation. “The Wildlife Corridors on Working Lands Act provides a major contribution by prioritizing wildlife corridors and connectivity on working lands, and assisting landowners in accessing important resources to enhance, maintain and restore wildlife habitat on working lands. We thank Sen. Heinrich and Rep. Vasquez, for their commitment and leadership on this critical conservation issue.”

“When wildlife can safely migrate across Montana and the nation’s landscapes, it’s good news for everyone,” said Frank Szollosi, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation. “This bipartisan solution is just common sense. Thank you for ensuring that voluntary Farm Bill conservation programs help farmers, ranchers, land owners, and wildlife thrive.”

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