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The Conservation Reserve Program: Planting for the future. Proceedings of a National Conference, Fort Collins, Colorado, June 6-9, 2004

Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5145

Edited by:
Arthur W. Allen and Mark Vandever

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Abstract

In June 2004 the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), with support from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), held a three-day symposium on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in Fort Collins, Colorado. These proceedings contain papers by most of those who made presentations at the symposium, but some were unable to provide written papers. This shortcoming has been addressed in part by addition of papers presenting information on prairie grouse response to the CRP, long-term trends in Southern Plains CRP grassland vegetation, and discussion of FSA support of an investigation to regionally refine management of CRP grasslands to address ecological conditions in the short-grass prairie region.

Each person attending the conference was requested to fill out a questionnaire to obtain information about how the future of the CRP should be directed and major issues of concern about how the program has and could be managed. Appendix A provides results and discussion of the questionnaire. Appendix B presents information prepared by the FSA on historical and current distribution and enrollment in the CRP. A list of those who attended and participated in the conference is furnished in Appendix C.

Contrary to conventions in most USGS publications and current scientific literature, measures of area and length in this publication are generally presented in acres or miles rather than metric measures (e.g., hectares, kilometers). This approach was adopted because townships, sections, and acres define the United States landscape and are the units of measure upon which management of agricultural lands in this nation is based. Unless noted otherwise, the authors of the respective chapters provided all photographs and figures presented in this document. The findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the USGS.

Table of Contents

Welcome and Opening Remarks (Tom Casadevall) ..... vii

Conference Overview and Objectives (James R. Little)..... ix

Session I. Large Accomplishments and Great Expectations The Role of Science in Guiding the Conservation Reserve Program (Moderator: Skip Hyberg)..... 3

The Role of Science in Guiding the Conservation Reserve Program: Past and Future (Skip Hyberg) ..... 4

Quantifying the Environmental Benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program on Prairie Wetlands: Separating Acts of Nature from Acts of Congress (Ned H. Euliss, Jr., and M.K. Laubhan) .....11

Fine Tuning the Conservation Reserve Program for Biological Diversity and Native Wildlife (Terrence G. Bidwell and David M. Engle).....16

Measuring Environmental Benefits of Conservation Practices: The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (Robert L. Kellogg).....22

Session II. Stakeholders Look at the Conservation Reserve Program through Different Windows Stakeholders Look at the Conservation Reserve Program Through Different Windows (Moderators: John Johnson and Robert Stephenson).....31

The Conservation Reserve Program—Through the Farm Bureau Window: An Outline (Don R. Parrish) .....37

Perspectives of the National Grain and Feed Association (Kendell W. Keith).....38

Perspectives of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (Terry Fankhauser).....46

The Future of the Conservation Reserve Program: A Soil and Water Conservation Society Perspective (Craig Cox and Max Schnepf)......48

A Wildlife Management Institute View of the Future: Questions Still Need Answering (Ron Helinski).....51

The Conservation Reserve Program Wildlife Legacy: Continuing and Strengthening the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Most Successful Wildlife Conservation Program David E. Nomsen)......53

The Conservation Reserve Program: Proven Benefits in the Prairie Pothole Region (Stephen E. Adair and Barton C. James) .....56

Session III. The View from Capitol Hill The View from Capitol Hill: An Interpretative Summary (Skip Hyberg and Tom Lederer) .....67

The Federal Budget and Agriculture (and How the Conservation Reserve Program Fits in) (Craig Jagger).....69

Session IV. National Program with Local Impacts National Program with Local Impacts (Moderator: Michael R. Dicks) .....79

The Conservation Reserve Program’s Economic and Social Impacts on Rural Counties: Results from an Interagency Study (Daniel Hellerstein and Patrick Sullivan) .....81

The Conservation Reserve Program: A National Program with Local Impacts (James B. Johnson).....87

Perspectives of the American Seed Association (Wayne Vassar) .....93

Session V. Management for Desired Wildlife Outcomes Management for Desired Wildlife Outcomes (Moderators: Arthur W. Allen and Stephen J. Brady) .....99

A National Survey of Conservation Reserve Program Participants on Environmental Effects, Wildlife Issues, and Vegetation Management on Program Lands: An Overview (Arthur W. Allen) .....101

Vegetation Changes Over 12 Years in Ungrazed and Grazed Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands in the Central and Southern Plains (Brian S. Cade, Mark W. Vandever, Arthur W. Allen, and James W. Terrell).....106

Prairie Grouse Population Response to Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands: An Overview (Randy D. Rodgers and Richard W. Hoffman) ......120

Conservation Reserve Program Successes, Failures, and Management Needs for Open-Land Birds (Randy D. Rodgers).....129

The Conservation Reserve Program in the Southeast: Issues Affecting Wildlife Habitat Value (L. Wes Burger, Jr.) .....135

Conservation Buffers in East-Central Illinois: Use by Nesting Passerines and Management Characteristics (Richard E. Warner, Laura A. Kammin, Catherine L. Hoffman, Philip C. Mankin, Patrick G. Hubert, Daniel J. Olson, and Leon Wendte).....142

The Conservation Reserve Program and Duck Production in the United States’ Prairie Pothole Region (Ronald E. Reynolds) .....144

Getting the Biggest Bang for the Acre (Terry Schley Noto and Tim Searchinger).....149

Management of the Conservation Reserve Program for Desired Wildlife Outcomes: Lands Working for Wildlife (David L. Walker) .....155

Refining Conservation Reserve Program Management to Meet Regional Objectives: Evaluation of Limited Grazing on Succession and Stability of Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands in Shortgrass Steppe of Eastern Colorado (Daniel G. Milchunas, Mark W. Vandever, Fritz L. Knopf, and Arthur W. Allen).....158

Session VI. Water Quality—What You Do and Where You Do It Matters Water Quality—What You Do and Where You Do It Matters (Moderators: Clay Ogg and Marc Ribaudo).....167

Protecting New York City’s Water Supply with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (Gary L. Lamont).....168

Spatial Allocation and Environmental Benefits: The Impacts of the Conservation Reserve Program in Texas County, Oklahoma (Mahesh Rao, Muheeb Awawdeh, and Michael R. Dicks).....174

Water Quality Benefits of Wetland Restoration: A Performance-Based Approach (William G. Crumpton) ......183

Session VII. Appendices Appendix A. Results of the Conservation Reserve Program Conference Questionnaire.....192

Appendix B. Conservation Reserve Program Overview and Enrollment Summary, April 2004 .....209

Appendix C. Conservation Reserve Program: Planting for the Future–Participant List.....245

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
The Conservation Reserve Program: Planting for the future. Proceedings of a National Conference, Fort Collins, Colorado, June 6-9, 2004
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
Series number:
2005-5145
Year Published:
2005
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
xii, 252 p.
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N