MINNEAPOLIS – The Nature Conservancy praised Representatives Tim Walz (D-MN) and Kristi Noem (R-SD) for their bi-partisan introduction of “Sodsaver” legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives today. The bill would prevent the conversion of native grasslands to row crops, encourage good land stewardship practices and preserve wildlife habitats.
Specifically, this bill would reduce crop insurance assistance for the first four years for crops grown on native sod and certain grasslands converted to cropland. This could save taxpayers nearly $200 million over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
“It is simply smart policy to recognize the critical role that America’s farmers, ranchers and foresters play as stewards of our country’s natural resources, and to encourage and reward their good stewardship. Sodsaver legislation will do just that, and will help slow the loss of native grassland and prairie to cropland conversion. It will also help conserve wildlife habitat, allow farmers to manage their lands effectively and support the hunting and fishing industry, all while saving taxpayer dollars,” said Peggy Ladner, director of The Nature Conservancy in Minnesota.
“We were delighted to see a Sodsaver provision in the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Farm Bill, and we are equally pleased that Representatives Walz and Noem are leading the way on this important issue in the House. We applaud their efforts and encourage Congress to include this legislation in a Farm Bill this year. There is strong and bipartisan support for a Farm Bill that contains the kind of solid conservation programs America needs in order to meet our increasing demand for food, feed, fiber and fuel,” concluded Ladner.
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.
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