The Nature Conservancy Praises
New Bipartisan Sodsaver Legislation
Bill Would Protect South Dakotas Prairies, Save Taxpayer Money
June 01, 2012
Rapid City, S.D. – The Nature Conservancy praised Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Tim Walz (D-MN) 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 fiscal policy to recognize the critical role that America’s farmers and ranchers perform as stewards of our country’s natural resources, and to encourage and reward their continuing good stewardship. Sodsaver legislation will do just that, and in addition will help slow the loss of native grasslands and prairies to cropland conversion. It will also help conserve wildlife habitat, allow farmers and ranchers to manage their lands effectively and support the hunting and fishing industry, all while saving taxpayer dollars,” said Bob Paulson, The Nature Conservancy’s Western Dakotas Program Director.
“We were delighted to see a Sodsaver provision in the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Farm Bill backed by Senator Thune, and we are equally pleased that Representatives Noem of South Dakota and Walz of Minnesota 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 Paulson.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.