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Full text of "The sportsman's stake in agricultural conservation"

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Historic, Archive Document 

Do not assume content reflects current 
scientific knowledge, policies, or practices. 






S^MJbs^fvOH's Stalls 


More Hunting, Fishing Areas Needed 

Each year about a million more Americans get 
interested in hunting and fishing. 

One man in five goes hunting. Fishing is even 
more popular with men and has a strong appeal 
to women as well as the younger set. More than 
one-third of American families, mostly from the 
city, are interested in fishing. 

As our population expands we will have greater 
need for more hunting and fishing opportunities, 
more parks and playgrounds, and for open mead- 
ows and woodlands close to cities and towns where 
people can "get away" for the weekend. 

Farmers can increase these opportunities 
through agricultural conservation. You as a 
"consumer" of recreation — or as a representative 
of an organization interested in outdoor activi- 
ties — can help meet the need by talking to farmers 
and letting them know of your interest. 

Conservation is everybody's business. 



Agricultural Conservation 
Increases Fishing, Hunting 

Farmers are our wildlife custodians. Privately- 
owned farm and timber lands provide 80 percent 
of the wildlife available for hunting, as well as 
much good fishing. Upland game birds, resident 
game animals, fish, and even the migratory ducks 
and geese, are part of the harvest on farms. 

However, with more and more people turning 
to hunting and fishing, we run the chance of over- 
loading the hunting and fishing areas on farms 
and woodlands. 

That is why sportsmen are directly interested 
in agricultural conservation on private land. 

Agricultural conservation on private land greatly 
increases and improves food, shelter and water for 
game and fish on the farm. Also, adequate con- 
servation on farm land keeps silt out of adjacent 
lakes and streams, and improves them for fishing. 
In turn, these wildlife benefits increase hunting, 
fishing and other recreational opportunities. 

These are ways the Agricultural Conservation 
Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
benefits non-farmers. 

Farmers as Wildlife Custodians 

Hunters and fishermen know that the best 
hunting and much good fishing is on farms where 
conservation practices have been installed. 

Conservation farming with contour strips of 
grass and legumes alternating with row crops or 
small grain provides more edges and borders than 
rectangular fields covered by a single crop. Wild- 
life find food and cover in the grass and crops, 
and in the brush and shrubs along the edges of 
fields and woodlands. 

Farm woodland conservation plantings, wind- 
breaks, grasslands, and plantings to control gullies 
and hillside erosion are all good habitat for game. 
Quail, partridge, pheasant, grouse, rabbits, squir- 
rels and deer find plenty of suitable habitat. 

Farm ponds and wetlands are a rest and food 
haven for ducks and geese. Ducks like farm 
pond areas, even small ones, for raising their 
young. Both livestock water and wildlife-fish 
ponds provide fishing opportunities for many 

Stress Fish and Wildlife Benefits 

Agricultural conservation is encouraging fanners 
to take a renewed interest in conserv ation of both 
direct and incidental benefit to fish and wildlife. 

This is reflected in the attention given to wild- 
life benefits and practices in the Agricultural Con- 
servation Programs in every agricultural county 
of the nation. 

In reviewing and re-examining the program 
each year. Agricultural Stabilization and Conser- 
vation (ASC) Committees of farmers that rim the 
ACP locally, work with all the people who share 
responsibility for the big conservation job. includ- 
ing groups- interested in fish and wildlife conser- 
vation. Many times this review of the ACP 

results in additional practices that are needed but 
on which little development has taken place. 

Some practices in the ACP are carried out by 
farmers specifically for the development of wild- 
life food, water or cover. These include building 
ponds for game and fish, restoring or developing 
marshlands, converting croplands into wetlands, 
and food and cover plots and borders. Agencies 
of State and Federal Governments provide tech- 
nical assistance for these practices. 

Most measures that conserve soil, water and 
woodland, also provide food, water and cover for 
wildlife and ponds for fish. Among those are the 
establishment of grasslands, livestock water ponds, 
stripcropping. sod waterways, shelter belts, gully 
control, and forest tree and shrub planting. 

All Conservation Costs Money 

Often the resource conservation needed in the 
public interest is more than a farmer can do on 
his own, in his normal farming operation. Con- 
servation farming is more than "just good fann- 
ing." It includes protection for the public in 
both the short-run and the long-range future. 

The Agricultural Conservation Program is an 
arrangement by which the public joins with 
farmers and woodland owners to share the cost of 
needed conservation measures that protect, im- 
prove and renew soil, water, woodland and wild- 
life resources on private land. 

The public stands about half the cost of carry- 
ing out approved conservation practices. The 
farmer stands the other half. 

Over a million farmers and woodland owners 
a year increase their accomplishments in conser- 
vation farming through the incentives of the 
Agricultural Conservation Program. 

Where Fish and Game Thrive 

Fish and game thrive where farmers practice 
conservation that provides hidden nesting areas, 
various sources of food, excellent shelter, good 
runways, and a plentiful supply of water. 

Among the many conservation measures that 
bring about such benefits to wildlife and fish, are 
seven of high importance. In just one recent 
year, the local ASC committees report that 
farmers and the ACP working together in a re- 
source conservation partnership, made these ac- 
complishments in the seven conserv ation practices. 

9,828,000 acres of annual, summer and winter 
land cover. 

2,860,000 acres of permanent type grassland 

1,854,000 acres of existing land cover improved. 

467,000 acres of stripcropping. 

336,000 acres planted to trees. 

41,600 livestock water ponds. 

19,000 miles of sod waterways. 

Such conservation work by farmers and the 
ACP is a tremendous benefit to fish and wildlife. 
It happens every year. 

What to Lool^ For 

In selecting a place to hunt or fish, look for 
stripcropped fields, shrubs and trees and field 
borders, protected woodland, grasslands, fann 

ponds, and generally lush vegetation. Conser\a- 
tion practices such as these normally indicate good 
hunting and fishing. 

Of course, the hunter or fisherman will want 
to check with the landowner and protect his 
property so that his land and water w ill continue 
to be available to hunters and fishermen. 

Where land is posted w ith a "keep out"sign. 
there usually is a story behind that sign. It may 
involve a crop that can be damaged. Or it could 
be that somebody has left gates open or hurt live- 
stock or otherw ise created a nuisance. Pennis- 
sion to hunt and fish on private land is up to the 

Hunting and fishing on land that is privately 
owned is a privilege, not a right. To enjoy this 
privilege, remember that the owner is making 
some sacrifice, even if only to provide the area 
for fish and game to grow, for you to enjoy your 

Probably every farmer enjoys having fish and 
wildlife on his place. This enjoyment is one of 
his compensations. He is a true conserv ationist — 
not only of soil and water, but of all outdoor life. 

In this, the farmer and the true sportsman are 
as one. 


fc^^^yle^s cmd iiotJiMne^t cm 7Ue^ Custodian of Oua, l^iidUfe- 

Issued November 1963