With 400,000 SAFE acres available, USDA will work with producers and landowners to target habitat for high-priority species like the lesser prairie chicken and sage grouse, as well as game species like pheasants and quail that providing hunting opportunities and support rural jobs. Existing projects in 20 states will be able to add up to 280,000 combined acres for all projects, including prairie, wetlands, forest and savanna habitat restoration. In addition, more than 100,000 acres were added to target species as diverse as northern scarlet snakes, ferruginous hawks and the American woodcock.
Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP. Under Vilsack’s leadership, the USDA has enrolled more than 12 million acres in CRP, a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them use marginal and environmentally sensitive land to bring conservation and economic benefits for their land and communities. The announcement of 400,000 state acres for wildlife enhancement (SAFE acres), fulfills Vilsack’s commitment made last spring to commit 1 million acres for special initiatives to restore grasslands, wetlands and wildlife habitat.Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack underscored the Obama Administration’s commitment to partnerships in conservation by announcing the allocation of 400,000 acres to support conservation and restoration of wildlife and their habitats as part of the