Ducks Unlimited announced Rep. Kristi Noem as the recipient of the Wetland Conservation Achievement Award at the 79th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference last week. Rep. Noem was recognized for her work on the 2014 Farm Bill Conference Committee and as a champion of the Sodsaver program.
“I’m honored to receive the Wetland Conservation Achievement Award,” said Rep. Noem. “Dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt, hunters have been the pillar of conservation in America, doing more than anyone to conserve wildlife and its habitat. As a lifelong hunter, I’m proud to be able to pass that tradition down to my kids and I’m hopeful the Sodsaver program will help ensure future generations can enjoy native sod and grasslands as we do today.”
Rep. Noem authored the bipartisan Protect Our Prairies Act, a sodsaver protection that was included in the 2014 Farm Bill. The program encourages the conservation of waterfowl and other wildlife habitats that are on native sod and grasslands by reducing the crop insurance coverage for the first four years after its conversion to cropland in the Prairie Pothole Region.
Ducks Unlimited CEO Dale Hall said: “As a member of the farm bill conference committee, Rep. Noem was an essential player in securing the Sodsaver program’s place in the final 2014 Farm Bill, which will apply to six top duck-producing states.”
Paul Schmidt, Ducks Unlimited Chief Conservation Officer, added: “As a farmer, rancher and sportswoman herself, Representative Noem understands the connected nature of agriculture and hunting. Passage of the 2014 Farm Bill was a very significant achievement and she proved herself a true champion of conservation in the process.”
Ducks Unlimited’s Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards are presented annually in six categories to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation and restoration of North America's wetlands and waterfowl. The awards, one of Ducks Unlimited’s highest honors, were announced during the 79th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Denver.