Nearly 50,000 emails delivered to Congress in support of a North American Grasslands Conservation Act
By Bethany Erb, Director of Government Affairs at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever
You probably saw our digital communication the week of September 7th rallying for a North American Grasslands Conservation Act. As part of a coalition of 11 conservation organizations, our volunteers- That’s right, YOU! - sent nearly 50,000 emails to Congress asking them to introduce a Grasslands Act while also communicating the need for Congress to do more for grasslands and sagebrush ecosystems.
Our vision for a North American Grasslands Conservation Act would create a new, all voluntary, program administered at the Department of Interior that would provide $350 million per-year for a Grasslands Act modeled upon the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). Grants would be available for landowners that voluntarily wish to conserve their lands. Grants could fund habitat improvements ranging from prescribe fire to invasive species management to easements that could be held by private land trusts or the US Fish and Wildlife Service, dependent on the landowner’s preference.
Congressional staff have responded back to our government affairs team wanting to know more about the initiative and how they could be involved. Partner organizations have done the same, while journalists have also picked up the message. Senator Ron Wyden (OR) also tweeted his support for grasslands policy and used our #actforgrasslands hashtag. Needless to say, we made an impression and amplified the need for increased grassland conservation!
The Grasslands Act has not yet been introduced, but your efforts during the week of September 7th took us a step closer. We currently have members of the Senate interested in sponsoring the bill and our intent is to make it a bipartisan introduction. We still have a long way to go, but we’re off to a great start thanks to our supporters who sent emails and made phone calls. Thank you!
Learn more at ActForGrasslands.org