House Passes Farm Bill as Expiration Looms
ARLINGTON, VA. | June 21, 2018
The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, more commonly known as the House Farm Bill. It includes a conservation title that funds voluntary, incentive-based programs for America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners that strengthen agricultural lands and rural communities. This title is the largest federal funding source for conservation on private lands.
About half the land in the contiguous United States—nearly 900 million acres—is cropland, rangeland, forestland or pastureland that is eligible for conservation programs funded by the Farm Bill. The bill must be reauthorized every five years, with the current bill set to expire Sept. 30:
The following is a statement by Kameran Onley, director of U.S. Government Relations at The Nature Conservancy:
"Today's passage of the House Farm Bill is an important step for conservation just months before the current bill expires. The House bill includes conservation provisions that will increase the flexibility and direct resources going toward public-private partnerships and restore funding for permanent easements that enhance and protect agricultural land from conversion to other uses. However, proposals in the forestry title to undercut environmental reviews present serious challenges to the long-term health of our forest ecosystems and the economies that rely on them.
“Americans need and deserve a comprehensive Farm Bill – one that will support healthy food and soils, clean water, strong communities and a robust economy. As the Senate deliberates its own proposal, we urge lawmakers in both chambers to work together to develop a Farm Bill that includes strong conservation and forestry provisions.”
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 72 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.