Wyden, Klobuchar, Bennet introduce grasslands bill

Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., today introduced the North American Grasslands Conservation Act, which would authorize $290 million annually in grants to incentivize the voluntary conservation of grasslands and the sagebrush steppe.

The program would be established in the Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Interior Department, but the bill also directs the interior and agriculture secretaries to carry out research relating to native seed crop systems.

“Grasslands are an essential American landscape, supporting the livelihoods of farmers, ranchers and tribes like those in my home state of Oregon. They’re home to iconic – yet threatened – wildlife and have serious potential to help in the fight against the climate emergency. Yet, wildfires, invasive grasses and degradation and more leave America’s grasslands imperiled. They are disappearing before our eyes,” Wyden said. “By finally establishing a national strategy and empowering landowners to protect their lands, this legislation will go far in restoring and conserving these open spaces.”


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