Senator Donnelly Honored as a “Supporter of Nature” by The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy’s Indiana Chapter honored Senator Joe Donnelly with its “Supporter of Nature” award.
Indianapolis, Indiana | October 11, 2013
The Nature Conservancy’s Indiana Chapter honored Senator Joe Donnelly with its “Supporter of Nature” award this week as the Conservancy’s staff from across the country traveled to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to discuss the value of the nation’s lands and waters.
“Senator Donnelly has consistently fought for a strong five-year Farm Bill,” said Indiana Chapter state director Mary McConnell. “It supports our farmers and includes important conservation programs that promote and assist farmers with best management practices to improve the health of their soils as well as the quality of our waters.”
McConnell also cited Rep. Donnelly’s efforts to ensure that the programs funded by the Farm Bill continue in order to support and enhance Indiana’s significant agricultural sector while protecting and improving the environment.
“Though the shutdown makes it clear that Congress must address many critical issues, Senator Donnelly and the Conservancy agreed that conservation can be a part of the solution to improve our nation’s economy, health and well-being,” McConnell said.
The Farm Bill represents—by far—the nation’s largest investment supporting the voluntary and successful conservation, restoration and management of America’s private lands. These activities are critical to healthy and productive rural lands and vibrant communities. The Conservancy strongly supports reauthorization of a 5-year Farm Bill with robust conservation and forestry provisions.
Nationally, private lands represent 60 percent of all land ownership. In Indiana, that private ownership jumps to 96 percent, with farmland and forest land representing 64 and 20 percent respectively. The Indiana Business Research Center estimated that in 2011 the combined economic impact of Indiana’s agriculture industry (which includes forestry) contributed $37.9 billion in economic output and supported nearly 190,000 Hoosier jobs in 2011.
Said McConnell, “The importance of a comprehensive 5-year farm bill with strong conservation and forestry provisions is clear.”
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.