May 31, 2011
On Tuesday, May 31, NSAC and more than 50 other organizations delivered a letter to members of the House Appropriations Committee in opposition to the conservation cuts contained in fiscal year (FY) 2012 agriculture appropriations bill passed by the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee last week.
The letter was delivered ahead of markup of the FY2012 bill by the full House Appropriations Committee today at 5 pm.
The letter begins, “The undersigned organizations, representing millions of members across the country, urge you to oppose the massive cuts to agricultural conservation programs proposed in the fiscal year 2012 agriculture appropriations legislation. This proposed legislation includes nearly $1 billion in cuts to farm bill conservation programs. These cuts would come in addition to the $500 million that was already cut from farm bill conservation accounts during the fiscal year 2011 appropriations process.”
In the letter, the groups oppose the cuts proposed to both the easement programs and the working lands programs, as well as the $100 million cut to Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) technical assistance to farmers and ranchers.
The letter concludes, “Failure to support our farmers, ranchers, foresters, and natural resource base today will jeopardize our agricultural industry, drive up long term costs for environmental mitigation, and threaten our nation’s food security. We ask the House Appropriations Committee to recognize the importance of agricultural conservation programs and ensure that reasonable funding levels are continued.”
Visit our earlier post on the FY2012 appropriations bill for a detailed account of the proposed cuts to conservation, extension, research, renewable energy, and rural development programs.
NSAC will be attending full Committee markup this afternoon, and will keep you informed of any amendments offered or changes made to the bill.