US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published by The Wildlife Society, in cooperation with USDA's National Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency.


A national survey of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contractees was completed to obtain information about environmental and social effects of the program on participants, farms, and communities. Over 75% of respondents believed CRP benefits to wildlife were important. Seventy-three percent of respondents observed increased numbers of wildlife associated with CRP lands. A majority of respondents (82%) believed the amount of assistance furnished by the U.S. Department of Agriculture related to planning and maintaining wildlife habitat associated with CRP lands was appropriate. The majority of respondents reported CRP benefits, including increased quality of surface and ground waters, improved air quality, control of drifting snow, and elevated opportunities to hunt or simply observe wildlife as part of daily activities. Income stability, improved scenic quality of farms and landscapes, and potential increases in property values and future incomes also were seen as program benefits. Negative aspects, reported by less than 30% of respondents, included seeing the CRP as a source of weeds, fire hazard, and attracting unwanted requests for trespass.