The National Deer Association (NDA), joined by a coalition of the nation’s leading conservation organizations, welcomes the introduction of the largest grasslands legislative effort in history – The North American Grasslands Conservation Act (NAGCA) – by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Michael Bennet (D-CO). The NDA has been advocating for this effort on behalf of deer and other big game species since the fall of 2020.
“We’re incredibly proud and humbled to have worked with Senator Wyden and the nation’s top conservation partners to make the North American Grasslands Conservation Act a reality,” said Torin Miller, the NDA’s Director of Policy. “Native grassland and sagebrush ecosystems provide some of our nation’s most important deer habitat. Voluntary conservation programs, like those found in NAGCA, are uniquely American and highly effective. We’re looking forward to moving this bill towards passage, and ultimately, ensuring swift and efficient implementation.”
Undoubtedly, deer species across North America rely on healthy, intact grassland ecosystems. The NDA exists to ensure the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting, and we couldn’t achieve any of the three without grasslands and sagebrush and the benefits they offer. Deer hunters know that these landscapes offer incredibly productive deer habitat, producing huge volumes of outstanding forage and the cover necessary to evade predators and raise fawns.
Alarmingly, since 2007, more than 50 million acres of grasslands have vanished. NAGCA aims to stop this decline. Modeled after the highly effective North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), this new concept would direct $350 million in funding to restore and conserve what remains of the most threatened ecosystem on the planet – the shrublands, sage steppe, savannahs, tallgrass prairies, and shortgrass prairies – while working with private landowners, whose farms and ranches are key to the success of North America’s grassland biome. There’s urgency right now to maintain these systems for agriculture, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, and for future generations while supporting ranchers, farmers, tribal nations, sportsmen and women, and rural communities.
If you love grasslands, sagebrush, and the deer and other wildlife that live in these ecosystems, please support this historic conservation effort. Learn more, engage and ask your Senators to co-sponsor the bill at www.ActForGrasslands.org.