Barn in California. © Ian Shive


Congress Votes for Conservation with New Farm Bill

Bill Makes Significant Investment in Private Lands Conservation

Arlington, Va.

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a new Farm Bill that includes strong conservation and forestry provisions that will benefit American farmers, ranchers, foresters and other landowners. The bill, which already passed the U.S. Senate, now heads to President Trump for his expected signature.

The Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 will increase the flexibility and resources going toward public-private partnerships and easements, and takes important steps toward climate-smart practices. The bill also extends the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, which encourages partnerships on science-based restoration of priority forest landscapes.

The following is a statement by Mark R. Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy:

“This Farm Bill was the biggest opportunity in years for Congress to make the right policies for—and investments in—the conservation of private lands in the United States. Thankfully, lawmakers seized that opportunity. They passed a bill that will help farmers, ranchers and forest owners become more sustainable and productive, while protecting lands and waters for the benefit of all Americans and wildlife.

“In short, the new Farm Bill is a victory for the conservation and stewardship of the natural treasures that are America’s ranches, farms and forests. The health of these lands is critical to the success of private landowners, to our economy and to rural communities. The bill’s investment in conservation programs, combined with important forestry provisions, will give landowners tools to protect their land and their way of life.

“We thank the leaders of the House and Senate who made this progress possible, especially Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson. The bipartisan cooperation and support for this bill benefits us all, and their leadership will help us see conservation benefits for years to come. We look forward to seeing this Farm Bill become law and working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement these important programs.”

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 an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 79 countries and territories, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.