We are, it seems, living the past. And utterly ignoring it. Once again the sod is being turned over at a staggering rate. Shelterbelts are being ripped out and planted. Marginal, erosion-prone areas are being put into production. In many areas of the southern plains, the only, and I mean literally the only areas offering any cover for wildlife (and anchor for the soil) are lands enrolled in programs like CRP. Everything else, to the horizon, is an undulating furrow of loose, tilled soil. Conservation groups like Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited are fighting an uphill battle right now to save these federal and state conservation programs that, while literal drops in the bucket compared to other sacred funding cows, are in danger of being eliminated because they're "too expensive."