Today, Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner joined 62 of their colleagues in a bipartisan vote to pass the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (the Farm Bill). The Farm Bill represents by far the nation’s largest investment in private lands conservation, and passage of a Farm Bill with strong Conservation and Forestry titles by the full Congress remains a top priority for The Nature Conservancy in 2012.
The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia executive director, Michael Lipford, offered these thoughts on the Senate’s action:
“The Farm Bill matters not only to agricultural interests, but to all Virginians, and I applaud the Senate’s vote today. I want to thank Senators Webb and Warner specifically not only for supporting final passage of the bill, but also for consistently standing up for conservation throughout several days of amendments.
“Put simply, we cannot enjoy the quality of life, scenic open spaces, and the many services nature provides us without working farmers and a vibrant agricultural land base. Additionally, society cannot ask farmers to deliver so many services without helping them address resource concerns of interest to us all. The Farm Bill’s investment in land conservation and environmental stewardship is important for our economy and our way of life, from the Chesapeake Bay to the Shenandoah Valley to Southwest Virginia. Senators Warner and Webb worked especially hard to ensure that the legislation continues to provide funding essential to ongoing restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay.
“Now that the Senate has acted, I join my colleagues and conservation partners in urging the House of Representatives to hold the line on funding for the Conservation Title as it develops its own version of the Farm Bill. Congressman Bob Goodlatte has been a strong supporter of these important investments, and we look forward to continuing to work with him and his staff in the coming weeks.”
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.