Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Conservation Groups Urge Congress to Link Conservation Requirements to Farm Bill Payments

A group of fifteen national environmental and conservation organizations on Monday urged Congress in the next Farm Bill to "renew our conservation compact with farmers by linking conservation compliance to all income support programs, including premium subsidies for crop and revenue insurance." In an April 16 letter sent to Senate and House Agriculture Committee Chairs Stabenow and Lucas, and Ranking Members Roberts and Peterson, respectively, the organizations said that "weakening or eliminating this (link) would have devastating impacts on water quality, wetlands, and grasslands," noting that renewing and extending "conservation compliance to all income support programs, including eligibility for premium subsidies for crop and revenue insurance . . . will benefit farmers and taxpayers going forward."

The letter was signed by American Farmland Trust, American Rivers, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Environmental Working Group, Izaak Walton League of America, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Pollinator Partnership, Sierra Club, Southern Environmental Law Center, Soil and Water Conservation Society, Union of Concerned Scientists, and World Wildlife Fund.

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