New position to focus on enhancing wildlife habitat through the federal Farm Bill
LAFAYETTE, Colo. -- The Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) has appointed Barth Crouch as the organization's new conservation policy director, and federal Farm Bill programs will be his primary area of responsibility. Crouch is no stranger to Farm Bill programs. He most recently worked as a regional biologist with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, where, in addition to biological and chapter duties, he focused on the organization’s efforts to target existing Farm Bill programs for the benefit of birds.
These programs -- particularly the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) -- benefit birds throughout the Great Plains.

“In the early 1990s, wildlife agencies and organizations were just beginning to realize the value of the Conservation Reserve Program for birds,” Crouch said. “Today it is even more important to keep as much habitat in the program as possible.”

Some of Crouch’s immediate responsibilities with PLJV will be to help draft a cooperative agreement with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to enhance CRP for playa lakes and lesser prairie chickens. He will work closely with the FSA and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the two Federal agencies that administer Farm Bill programs.

The creation of the conservation policy director position was approved by the PLJV Management Board in January, and the candidate search began soon after. PLJV was awarded a Wildlife Action Opportunities Fund (WAOF) grant to help fund the position, which will be matched by non-federal sources. The WAOF grant program was created by the Wildlife Conservation Society with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The program supports implementation of priority actions of State Wildlife Action Plans. This award to the PLJV will help Kansas and other PLJV states implement several playa conservation and policy-related strategies identified in their plans.

To contact Crouch, email