Sportsmen Welcome Lucas as House Ag Committee Chair

Oklahoman’s leadership critical as Congress formulates 2012 Farm Bill and
agricultural- and private-lands conservation programs important to fish and wildlife

WASHINGTON – Sportsmen-conservationists across the country are welcoming news that Rep. Frank Lucas has been elected chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership announced today.

With jurisdiction over federal agriculture programs, the House Committee on Agriculture administers funding for critical natural resources policy such as the Farm Bill, the conservation title of which is the single-largest source of federal funding for conservation on private lands in the country. A lifelong farmer, Lucas is the first Oklahoman to chair the committee, on which he has served as a member since he first was elected to Congress in 1994.

Agricultural- and private-lands conservation remains a cornerstone of the TRCP’s policy work, and the efforts of the TRCP and its partner groups were instrumental in the inclusion of and improvements to vital conservation programs in the 2008 Farm Bill. The TRCP’s farm policy work is guided by the Agriculture and Wildlife Working Group, a coalition of representatives from the nation’s leading conservation and sportsmen’s organizations that currently is developing recommendations on conservation programs for the 2012 Farm Bill.

“Representative Lucas is taking on leadership of the House Committee on Agriculture at a watershed moment for our nation,” said Jennifer Mock Schaeffer, Farm Bill coordinator for the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies and chair of the TRCP Agriculture and Wildlife Working Group. “The 2008 Farm Bill increased total spending on conservation by approximately $4 billion to about $7.9 billion through 2012, and citizens are relying on Congress to sustain these important programs in the 2012 Farm Bill.”

“The House Committee on Agriculture plays a crucial role in establishing and continuing conservation programs that sustain America’s private-lands fish and wildlife populations – and consequently in maintaining our hunting and fishing traditions,” said Tom Franklin, TRCP director of policy and government relations. “Sportsmen look forward to advising the committee about fish and wildlife needs as we work together to develop a new Farm Bill, and we extend our willing support of Chairman Lucas’s efforts to conserve these irreplaceable resources.”

Learn more about the TRCP’s work in support of agricultural- and private-lands conservation.

Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations
and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions
of hunting and fishing.