January 28, 2014
ARLINGTON, VA (January 28, 2014) – Leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives reached bipartisan agreement on the Farm Bill late yesterday. The bill includes important conservation and forestry provisions supported by The Nature Conservancy, including funding for conservation programs, a new regional partnership program to better leverage and achieve conservation results, a “sodsaver” provision to prevent soil loss, a re-linking of conservation compliance to crop insurance premium assistance and the permanent extension of stewardship contracting to encourage collaboration to restore healthy ecosystems.
In response, The Nature Conservancy issued the following statement from its President and CEO Mark R. Tercek:
“This farm bill would be one of the strongest ever for conservation and forestry. From our decades of work on the ground with farmers and other private landowners all over the country, we know that the farm bill’s conservation provisions are practical, cost-effective and provide solid ways for the government to collaborate with individual landowners. They enable growers to do what they want to do—be good stewards of the land.
“All Americans enjoy the results of these conservation programs, including cleaner water, improved soil conservation, enhanced wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation opportunities, increased flood control, stronger local communities and rural economies, and of course, affordable and healthy food.
“The Agriculture Committee leaders should be commended for finding this productive way forward by working together, listening to the people on the ground about what works, and leading the way for all of Congress to vote for smart, efficient solutions.
“We are grateful to Chairwoman Stabenow, Chairman Lucas, Ranking Member Cochran and Ranking Member Peterson and their staff members for their commitment to bipartisan solutions and sound conservation for lands and waters. These leaders have our sincerest appreciation for their hard work. They have proven that it is still possible for Congress to improve policy, receive strong bipartisan support on an issue and save scarce federal dollars at the same time. We now hope that the full Congress will pass this critical measure as swiftly as possible.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.