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Agricultural News

Conservation Groups Call on Congress for Support in 2012 Farm Bill

Tue, 20 Sep 2011 10:12:45 CDT

Conservation Groups Call on Congress for Support in 2012 Farm Bill The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and other members of the Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition (FIFB) sent a letter to members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees offering recommendations for the 2012 Farm Bill. Signed by 70 groups representing conservationists, forest owners, hunters, anglers, forest-product manufacturers, and natural resource professionals, the letter urges Congress to pass a Farm Bill that enables forest conservation on private forests and surrounding rural landscapes, while supporting the creation and maintenance of forest-dependent rural jobs and strong rural economies in forest communities.

"Forests play a critical role in providing clean air, clean water and healthy habitat across the nation," NACD President Gene Schmidt said. "It's important that forest landowners are able to participate in Farm Bill conservation programs and receive the technical assistance necessary to implement on-the-ground conservation practices to ensure the sustainability of America's forests and other natural resources."

Specifically, the groups are calling for a Farm Bill which: (1) includes strong provisions for forests in conservation Programs, (2) strengthens forestry outreach, education, research, and inventory programs, (3) combats forest-related invasive species, and (4) improves forest market opportunities.

The nation's private forests, which make up more than two-thirds of all U.S. forests, supply Americans with clean water and clean air, fish and wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and forest products. They are also a key component of our rural landscapes, stimulating healthy communities and economies, and supporting well-paying jobs in rural America. However, our forests continue to face a number of challenges threatening their long-term sustainability, including development, Invasive species, insects, diseases and wildfires.

"The 2008 Farm Bill included significant improvements for forest owners, supporting more forest conservation and agroforestry practices and activities across the country," the FIFB stated in the letter. "In the 2012 Farm Bill, we hope to build on the success of the 2008 Farm bill and make further improvements, while respecting the budget situation."

Click here to view a copy of the full letter.



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