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 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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