R Street Senior Fellow R.J. Lehmann sat down this week with our friend Steve Stanek of the Heartland Institute to discuss his recent paper on U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “conservation compliance” programs and how farm policy impacts hunting and fishing. In particular, he points to the economic pressure created by federal agriculture subsidies and ethanol mandates that could lead to millions of acres of prairies and wetlands — currently the spawning grounds for more than half of all North Americans waterfowl — being converted to agricultural usage.

He notes that, while conservation compliance consists of “two words lots of conservatives don’t like,” it is actually a market-based approach that respects property rights while preventing taxpayer money from being used to destroy the environment. Re-attaching conservation compliance requirements to crop insurance subsidies is an important first step to reform in the farm bill.

You can listen to the full podcast at Heartland’s site or download it here.