Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Environmental coalition urges conservation funding

A coalition of conservation organizations has submitted a joint letter to US House and Senate leaders regarding farm bill funding.

The letter urges “strong support of the March 18, 2008, Farm Bill ‘Framework’s’ $4.951 billion increase in new funds above baseline for the Bill’s voluntary, incentives-based conservation programs. While substantially more is truly needed to address the country’s conservation needs, this level of investment is essential. Any less risks irreparable damage to our agricultural lands and other natural resources.”

The letter goes on to explain that “the ethanol boom, propelled in large measure by energy bill mandates Congress enacted in 2005 and dramatically expanded last year, is one of many factors putting enormous pressure on America’s land, water and wildlife resources. As a consequence, it is our expert judgment that a generation of conservation accomplishments could be severely diminished and, in some areas, may be erased altogether.”

The letter is signed and supported by the following organizations:

American Rivers
American Society of Agronomy
Center for Native Ecosystems
Chesapeake Bay Commission
Coevolution Institute
Crop Science Society of America
Defenders of Wildlife
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Environmental Defense Fund
Environmental Working Group
Izaak Walton League of America
Land Trust Alliance
The Minnesota Project
National Audubon Society
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
Soil Science Society of America
Soil and Water Conservation Society
Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Union of Concerned Scientists
Water Environment Federation
World Wildlife Fund

To read the letter in its entirety, go to http://www.swcs.org/documents/FarmBillFrameworkFundingJointLetter.pdf

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