Save USDA Conservation Programs – Act Now!

Please Act on this Alert from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

Save USDA Conservation Programs – Act Now!

Protect the Water You Drink, Water You Need – Make a Call

Washington Congressman Norm Dicks sits on the House subcommittee that decides agriculture funding levels. It’s important that you let him know you oppose cuts to farm bill conservation program. Call Representative Dicks’ office at (202) 225-5916.   Ask for his aide, Ryan Shauers or leave your message with the receptionist.

The message is simple:  Please protect my right to clean water and vibrant communities.  Don’t cut federal farm bill conservation programs in the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bill.   Water is the foundation of Washington’s prosperity!

Water is the foundation of our lives, and it is becoming a scarce resource, and clean water even scarcer.  So it’s especially alarming that the recently passed Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bill cut $500 million from key federal conservation programs that pay farmers and landowners for practices that keep it flowing, keep it clean, and keep it where it belongs – in waterways and wetlands, avoiding catastrophic floods.  Even worse, President Obama’s budget for next year proposes to cut them by $1 billion more!

Federal conservation programs help farmers install measures that recharge groundwater and keep animals and their manure out of streams and lakes.   Conservation programs restore wetlands, protect farmland, and create wildlife habitat.  They also bring money into communities, creating stable jobs in fishing, hunting, recreation, and tourism.

The 2008 Farm Bill wisely set aside funding for conservation programs – like the Conservation Stewardship Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and Wetlands Reserve Program.  But these programs have now become targets for budget cutters. The President’s proposed cuts, in addition to the immediate $1 billion cut would set the stage for permanent cuts to conservation in the 2012 Farm Bill of $5 billion! These are false budget savings that endanger the nation’s supply of clean water and capacity to produce food for future generations at a cost that would far outweigh the current investment in farm conservation.

Congress is about to make decisions on Fiscal Year 2012 funding priorities. It’s important that you let Congressman Dicks know you oppose cuts to farm bill conservation program.

Again, please call Representative Dicks’ office at (202) 225-5916.

Click here to read more about federal conservation programs on the NSAC website.

Your call is important. Thank you for taking a minute to protect the water you drink, the water Washington needs.

Posted in Food Justice Blog Posts.

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