Izaak Walton League Applauds Proposal To Keep Conservation Funding Intact
St. Paul, MN – The budget President Obama sent to Congress today recommends full funding for popular U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation programs. The Izaak Walton League strongly supports fully funding these programs, which help farmers and ranchers improve water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat across America.
For years, the president and Congress have raided the conservation “piggy bank,” repeatedly slashing Farm Bill funding levels set by law. Particularly hard hit have been the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), which have seen billions of dollars in cuts. For the first time in many years, the president's budget proposal includes no cuts to these critical conservation programs.
“We are thrilled to see that the president’s budget funds successful, popular, and extremely necessary conservation programs at the levels agreed upon in the 2014 Farm Bill,” said John Sisser, Conservation Associate for the Izaak Walton League. “Budget cuts through the annual appropriations process have consistently forced USDA to turn away farmers who care about the natural resources on their land. Today’s proposed budget is a critical step toward making sure farmers and ranchers who want to improve water quality, soil health, and habitat on their property have the resources to do so.”
If funded as proposed, these two programs would support conservation practices on tens of millions of additional acres of farmland in the next fiscal year, reducing agriculture’s impact on natural resources nationwide.
“We are pleased that this budget acknowledges the tremendous value of voluntary agriculture conservation programs,” Sisser said. “The League will continue to support full funding for conservation programs as the annual appropriations cycle moves forward, ensuring farmers have the tools they need to be effective stewards of our nation’s natural resources.”
Founded in 1922, the Izaak Walton League of America (www.iwla.org) and our almost 43,000 members protect America’s outdoors through education, community-based conservation, and promoting outdoor recreation.
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