“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell … announced the release of the State of the Birds 2013 Report on Private Lands. A collaborative effort as part of the U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative, involving federal and state wildlife agencies and scientific and conservation organizations, the report shows how private land conservation incentives positively impact bird habitat. “Sixty percent of U.S. land is in private hands, making the efforts of farmers, ranchers and landowners critical when it comes to creating, restoring and protecting bird habitat,” Secretary Vilsack said. “Today’s report highlights the positive impact of voluntary conservation measures for birds, including those made possible by Farm Bill programs. The need for a long-term commitment to conservation is just one more good reason why we need Congressional passage of a multi-year Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible.” Individuals, families, organizations and corporations, including two million ranchers and farmers and about 10 million woodland owners, own and manage 1.43 billion acres, roughly 60 percent of the land area of the United States. Private lands are used by virtually all of the terrestrial and coastal birds of the United States, 251 of which are federally threatened, endangered or of conservation concern. Many privately owned working lands that produce a bounty of food, timber, and other resources for society also provide valuable habitat for birds.”
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