IECA Applauds Congressional House, Senate Agriculture Committees’ Commitment to Conservation
Region One of the Intl. Erosion Control Assn. (IECA) applauds leaders of the federal Senate and House Agriculture Committees for recognizing the value of conservation in supporting the U.S.’s long-term environmental and economic stability. In both versions of the 2012 Farm Bill, leadership in both political parties demonstrated strong bipartisan support for locally led soil and water conservation and erosion control efforts.
“We fully recognize the need to get the United States’ financial house in order, and we understand that means cuts in federal programs,” said IECA Region One President Phil Handley, REM, CPESC, CESSWI.
“The U.S. federal committee leadership has developed a balanced plan that recognizes the critical value of local leadership at the landscape scale. The two Farm Bills propose around a 10% cut over 10 years—approximately $6 billion—to Farm Bill Title II Conservation Programs (the Farm Bill has 11 titles). That is more than the super-committee proposed in 2011 and even more than what the agriculture share of the federal budget represents, which is about 2%.”
“Investing in conservation simply makes sense,” Handley said. “Not only do Farm Bill conservation programs play a key role in supporting clean water, air and healthy, productive soils, they also help producers avoid unnecessary regulation and support the United States’ long-term economic and food security. As we face increased pressure to produce food, feed, fuel and fiber for a growing population, we simply cannot afford not to invest in natural resource conservation.”
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