Resolution Recognizing Locally-Led Soil and Water Conservation Passes SenateThu, 14 May 2015 16:11:58 CDT
The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is praising the Senate's passage of a bipartisan, concurrent resolution recognizing the value of locally-led soil and water conservation and the role of conservation districts within those efforts across the nation. S. Con. Res. 10, sponsored by Agriculture Committee members Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and John Boozman (R-AR), was agreed to yesterday by Unanimous Consent.
"In passing the conservation resolution, the members of the Senate have made a strong public recognition of the importance of locally-led natural resource conservation, and its critical value to our nation's economic and food security," said NACD President Lee McDaniel. "We are now calling on the House to do the same."
A companion resolution in the House, H.Con.Res.30, was introduced by the Chair of the House Agriculture Committee's Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA-5). The original cosponsors include Representatives Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM-1), Gregg Harper (R-MS-3) and Walter Jones (R-NC-3). It is currently pending floor action.
This resolution, which is supported by NACD, the Soil Science Society of America, and a variety of conservation and agriculture groups,expresses support for: the designation of the year 2015 as the "International Year of Soils," public participation in activities celebrating the importance of soils, and soil conservation through partnerships with the nation's 3,000 locally-led soil and water conservation districts. It also encourages landowner participation in federal conservation programs including the Conservation Reserve Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation Stewardship Program, the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and the Small Watershed Program.
The resolution also coincides with the 80th anniversary of the Soil Conservation Act of 1935 which created the Soil Conservation Service (now the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service) and the conservation district movement in the U.S.
"As conservation districts, soil health is at our very roots, and districts continue to be at the forefront of these efforts today, working in close partnership with local, state and federal partners to assist producers and landowners in the education, planning and implementation of soil conservation at the local level. Soil health has been a top priority for NACD in recent years, and the soil health movement is continuing to gain momentum with a diverse group of stakeholders across the nation," said McDaniel.
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