Sign-on letter: Support Conservation Title of the Farm Bill (2/15/2012)

Several national organizations are leading an effort to secure at least 500 signers to demonstrate widespread and diverse support for the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill in advance of Congressional action on its reauthorization. (View Support Letter)

Please consider signing on to this support letter by Friday, February 24. To sign on, simply use the online form at http://goo.gl/VaokH.

Why is the Conservation Title of the Farm Bill so important? The Farm Bill is by far the most important legislation for conserving private lands in the U.S. Through a number of programs (WRP, CRP, EQIP, WHIP, etc.), the Conservation Title provides incentives to farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners nationwide and here in Pennsylvania to help deliver cleaner water, improved soil conservation, enhanced wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation opportunities, increased flood control and economic benefits for local communities and rural economies. If you care about farming, wildlife, hunting, fishing, clean water, and the sustainability of our rural lands, you care about the Conservation Title.

Why is your support especially important this year? Overall funding levels have increased in the past several Farm Bills, but this will not be the case this time. Given the very real pressures Congress faces to reduce overall federal spending, we expect increased pressure on funding for the entire Farm Bill and the Conservation Title. So demonstrating strong support for conservation programs is especially important.

Why now? Activity on reauthorizing the Farm Bill is heating up. On February 28, the Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the Conservation Title in the farm bill. We want to kick-off this season of hearings with a strong and diverse show of support for the Conservation Title by launching a broad sign-on letter.

Do sign-on letters make a difference? Yes. While this letter is just one component of a much larger strategy, it is important. A similar letter last fall in support of federal investments in conservation helped elevate the issue in Congress and secure much better FY12 appropriation numbers than we would have seen otherwise.

Please contact Ron Ramsey of The Nature Conservancy if you have any questions. Thanks very much for your help!

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