The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD), submitted letters to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committees today. The letters came in response to the President’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposalset forth by the administration earlier this month.
The letters request Congressional approval of the $860.374 million funding level outlined in the President’s FY17 budget proposal for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Conservation Operations account.
“Investing in the delivery of conservation through the Conservation Technical Assistance program supports the critical work of conservation districts in enlisting land owners and operators to participate in voluntary conservation practices that ensure clean water, healthy soils, and other vital benefits on which the public relies each day,” said NACD President Lee McDaniel.
In addition, the letters express NACD’s support for funding the Watershed Rehabilitation Program at $100 million and funding the Watershed Operation account at the $400 million level.
“These watershed programs are of huge benefit to rural and urban communities across our nation, mitigating the effects of extreme weather and bolstering our national economy,” McDaniel said. “Congress has an opportunity to make a historic commitment to maintaining and repairing the infrastructure associated with the nation’s many watersheds.”
“All of these programs are essential mechanisms for implementing natural resource conservation on the ground. They are vital to the work of conservation districts in carrying out locally-led conservation efforts in coordination with local landowners and operators and their local communities,” McDaniel said. “We strongly urge Congress to fully fund these programs thereby taking the necessary steps to safeguard our nation’s natural resources for our future and recognizing the critical importance of these programs for the future security of our food, feed, fuel, and fiber.”
To locate and contact the California Association of Resource Conservation District office in your area, click here.