Conservation groups put budget committee leaders on notice

By Whitney Forman-Cook

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2015 - Thirty-five conservation groups are urging the Senate and House budget committees to reject President Obama's fiscal 2016 budget proposal to cut $800 million from farm bill conservation programs.

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Obama's proposed cut “would leave producers high and dry when trying to prepare for and manage drought, flooding, and other extreme weather,” the organizations said in a letter to the committees.

“It would mean more water pollution and less wildlife habitat… and it would drive up long-term costs for environmental mitigation, and threaten our nation's food security.”

The American Farmland Trust and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies were among the conservation groups that signed the letter, which called the administration's suggested reductions “unnecessary, “irresponsible” and “shortsighted.

The targeted programs would include the Conservation Stewardship Program, Environmental Quality Incentives Program as well as the new Regional Conservation Partnership Program, which would lose $60 million in funding over the next five years.

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