Farm Bill: Wins for Working Lands and Conservation!
For the past three years, Western Landowners Alliance has worked hard and in collaboration with a variety of partners to ensure strong support in the 2018 Farm Bill for working lands in the West. We are pleased to announce that on December 10th, Congress released the 2018 Farm Bill conference report reflecting many of WLA’s top priorities. Among these:
- Authorization for $1 billion in funding by 2023 to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
- Prioritization of advanced grazing management practices in the CSP, including management-intensive rotational grazing
- Increased funding for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) by $2 billion by 2023
- Increased Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage cap to 27 million acres, together with prioritizing lands of ecological significance, including lands that are important for imperiled species.
- Increased Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)
Western Landowners would like to thank members of Congress for working across party lines to find common ground. The Farm Bill represents a long-standing public/private partnership that ensures healthy, affordable food, clean water, intact wildlife habitat and a strong agricultural economy nationwide.
Senate and House Overwhelmingly Vote YES!
The Senate voted YES to approve the conference report and pass the 2018 Farm Bill on the afternoon of December 11th — And the House voted YES the very next day, on December 12th! The new Farm Bill represents a huge win for western working lands. Funding from the Conservation title of the Farm Bill alone provides more than $350 million annually to support working lands and conservation in western states. The Farm Bill now moves to President Trump’s desk for final signature. After that, it’s time for rule-making and implementation of programs – meaning it’s time to start putting programs on-the-ground.
Are Farm Bill programs important to you or your community? Send us your stories! We’d love to hear from you. If you are a landowner or manager and have benefited from Conservation Title or other programs, tell us how these programs have helped you keep our nation’s working lands whole and healthy.
Got questions about the Farm Bill? Contact WLA’s policy director, Jessica Crowder: Jessica@westernlandowners.org.
Conservation Programs Explained
- The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) supports landowners in maintaining high standards of environmental stewardship and further enhancing those practices through specific practices that deliver benefits to wildlife and the public.
- The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) was first introduced in the 1996 Farm Bill to provide primarily cost-sharing assistance to producers, but also technical and educational assistance, to improve production and optimize environmental benefits.
- The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enables ranchers and farmers to modify production to conserve environmentally sensitive land, water and wildlife resources.