A coalition of agriculture, conservation, and wildlife organizations is calling on lawmakers to support national conservation programs. In a letter signed by more than 70 groups, the coalition advocates for maintaining funding support for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). The group is urging appropriators to maintain funding levels for various conservation programs and technical assistance provisions.
“As the Subcommittees develops FY 2022 appropriations bills, we urge you to reject any changes in mandatory spending for farm bill conservation programs,” the letter states. “Technical assistance is essential for the delivery of conservation support for farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners across the country by providing capacity and conservation planning to support conservation practice implementation.”
Signatories of the letter include American Farmland Trust, the National Association of Conservation Districts, the California Climate and Agriculture Network, American Society of Agronomy. The coalition expressed appreciation for previous appropriations and the priority placed on conservation programs and technical assistance. The letter also details the need for continued funding support to help bolster conservation efforts moving forward. “In addition to full funding for the mandatory farm bill conservation programs, we urge you to provide at least $1.2 billion in FY 2022 discretionary funding for Conservation Operations, including $1.1billion in critical funding for Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA),” the coalition states in the letter.
The coalition noted that increased investment in NRCS will contribute to the wider adoption of conservation practices. As Congress places a greater emphasis on initiatives to address climate change, supporting voluntary, incentive-based conservation efforts will play a significant role. Technical assistance provided by NRCS helps with the continued expansion of conservation programs in U.S. agriculture. “We urge you to reject any changes in mandatory spending for farm bill conservation programs, and to provide at least $1.2 billion in discretionary funding for Conservation Operations, including $1.1 billion for Conservation Technical Assistance,” the letter concludes.