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Proposed Senate Conservation Funding Falls Short
—Funding Must at Least Match House

 
CONTACT:
Jennifer Morrill 202-378-1255 or jmorrill@farmland.org
 

Washington, D.C., October 11, 2007—Over 20 nationally recognized conservation organizations joined American Farmland Trust (AFT) in telling the Senate leadership that the recent Finance Committee package of $3.075 billion in outlays from conservation tax credits for the Conservation Reserve Program and the Grasslands Reserve Program “falls short of the minimum amount [of funding] needed for a decent conservation title.” There is, the group noted, the enormous backlog of unfunded farmer applications to participate in federal conservation programs, at the same time there is widespread public support for clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, soil quality and other
environmental benefits.

“The groups are quite adamant in their view that the conservation dollars freed up in the Senate tax credit proposal must remain in the conservation title of the farm bill,” says Ralph Grossi, President of AFT.“This money was freed up to assist with farm bill conservation funding problems, not to be a pot of money up for grabs.”

The groups believe that the Senate Agriculture Committee should now find ways to provide additional funding for conservation. “The Senate could show leadership and go beyond the $4.5 billion in additional conservation funding provided in the House version of the 2007 Farm Bill. The Senate Agriculture Committee needs to provide $2 billion more in addition to the Senate Finance Committee,” says Grossi. “The public demands it and the environment needs it.”

A full copy of the letter with signatures and information on the current status of the 2007 Farm Bill negotiations are posted at AFT’s Web site: www.farmland.org.

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American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.

AFT's national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.

 
American Farmland Trust