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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

George Wuerthner reminding all of us that virtually all of the Federal Farm Bill (including the Conservation Reserve Program)is a giant welfare subsidy to Farmers.......................The money that temporarily pays Farmers to keep their land untilled and in its natural state "could have bought 30 million acres in eastern Montana"............................George states that it would be far better to "buy up the land and retire it forever from farming", thus ensuring enduring wildlife habitat


I have been against the CRP from its inception. It's a waste of money for exactly the reason you state. It is not permanent. We dump more money into this program than we pay to operate all our naitonal wildlife refuges annually. More than we pay to operate our parks. And it just keeps these marginal farmers in production. Frankly if existing environmental laws were actually enforced, these marginal acres would not be permitted to be cropped because they are a major source of non-point water pollution. It's just a freebie give away to farmers (who are independent people I've heard). Or as my friend who once administered the program in eastern Montana it's the "farmer retirement program".

I once calculated that at the cost of this and other subsides (CRP is only one of many)we could have bought 30 million acres in eastern Montana for the cost of subsidies in Montana at that time. I would rather see no money put into CRP and instead outright purchase of the land. That is what we did back in the 1930s (which is how we got a lot of the BLM and national grasslands in easatern Montana etc. ) Buy up the land and retire it forever from farming--plus you get public access and wildlife access to these lands. 

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