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For Immediate Release
August 4, 2004

Conservation Initiatives Fact Sheet

Today's Presidential Action

Background on Today's Presidential Action

Originally authorized under the 1985 Farm Bill, CRP is a voluntary program sponsored by USDA that provides incentives to landowners to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and instead establish protective vegetative cover of grass, trees, or wildlife habitat. Since its inception in 1986, this program has helped reduce soil erosion by more than 40 percent and restored 1.8 million acres of critical wetlands. Since President Bush signed the historic 2002 Farm Bill, CRP has increased enrollment by 2.6 million acres, conserving a total of 34.8 million acres of environmentally sensitive land for wildlife habitat, riparian buffers, and soil protection. The 2002 Farm Bill provides more than $40 billion over a decade to restore millions of acres of wetlands, protect habitats, conserve water, and improve streams and rivers near working farms and ranches. Today, President Bush announced three new efforts to strengthen conservation under CRP: