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Friday, June 14, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Iowa hunters, anglers push for Farm Bill support

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024   

The U.S. House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to take up the first version of the new Farm Bill tomorrow morning.

Outdoor enthusiasts in Iowa are pushing for the measure to address key hunting and fishing policies. The Farm Bill is the biggest, most high-profile piece of legislation for farmers and ranchers and it has a huge effect on hunters and anglers in Iowa.

Kate Hansen, agriculture program director for the Izaak Walton League of America, said conservation policies set out in the Farm Bill -- support for approaches like cover crops, for example -- have a domino effect on the state's ecosystems.

"At face value, cover crops have benefits like they improve our water quality and our soil health," Hansen pointed out. "We think about how could water quality improvements benefit our fish habitats? There are also benefits of them sitting right there in the field for wildlife."

Hansen noted the healthy fields benefit Iowa hunters. She added it is important for the Farm Bill to consider private land access and conservation measures to improve habitats for fish and wildlife. The House Agriculture Committee is set to consider the bill tomorrow.

The Farm Bill is the biggest investment the U.S. makes in private lands conservation.

Aaron Field, director of private lands conservation for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said one especially important part of the bill focuses on increasing voluntary conservation projects on private property. He emphasized it benefits hunters and anglers and called the public-private partnerships crucial to shaping the Farm Bill.

"It's critically important that hunter and angler groups step up and provide feedback as Congress is making decisions about how those programs operate and how they're funded," Field urged.

Field added this year's Farm Bill is the best opportunity hunter and angler programs have had for increased funding in recent history. He noted the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership has published an online guide about how to participate in shaping the measure.

Disclosure: The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, and the Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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