Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce commented on the ongoing Farm Bill Conference, where the House and Senate are working to resolve differences between their respective versions of the Farm Bill. Earlier this year, Pearce submitted an amendment which was attached to the Farm Bill which protects jobs by requiring a study of the economic impact and effectiveness of existing programs to protect the Lesser Prairie Chicken.
“Existing programs to protect the Lesser Prairie Chicken have proven their effectiveness, without destroying countless jobs the way a listing would,” said Pearce. “Just last month, the Fish and Wildlife Service reaffirmed the success of these programs, further underscoring that a listing is an unnecessary and costly move. The amendment I introduced would avoid the needless loss of jobs by making sure that the decision is made with a full knowledge of the situation. America has seen too many jobs lost because species were needlessly and carelessly listed: I encourage the conferees to protect American jobs by including this amendment in the final legislation.”
The amendment, which Pearce offered earlier this year was accepted with broad support in the House, requires the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study on current USDA programs related to the Lesser Prairie Chicken to analyze the economic impact and effectiveness of these programs. These programs have proven to be successful, effective means of protecting the species, without the immense costs and lost jobs that would result from a federal listing. Rep. Pearce’s amendment would produce a full analysis of both the conservation value and the cost-effectiveness of these programs, allowing an informed decision that takes cost and American jobs into account.